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I got invited to an atheist podcast. I’m reluctant to engage because my previous attempts have revealed gross levels of (a) ignorance about the fundamentals of modern science, (b) ignorance about the historical chain of events that led to current science, (c) ignorance of anything other than current mainstream Western thinking, (d) inability to grasp new concepts that are not based on current mainstream Western thinking, (e) a knee-jerk denial of anything remotely “religious”, and (f) insurmountable hubris if you try to educate someone who isn’t looking to be educated. As I have come to see, the search for truth begins with suffering, not with reason and observation. Necessity is the mother of education. You need a mental socket into which you can fit an ideological ball. Suffering creates a socket for truth, as the option of last resort. The greater the suffering, the faster the learning. But despite my misgivings, I’m not one to turn away someone who wants to discuss. And so, I accepted. The conversation was respectful, and I am grateful for that. Following it, there were some comments to which I wrote extensive responses. I don’t know what happens to social media content or platforms over time, so having spent time writing them, I decided to collect them into this post. If the video disappears, the comments are here. Watch the video if you like, before reading.

Comment #1

Vedism isn’t one particular thing. There are Vaidika (Vedists) who accept realism, those who accept Idealism, those who accept only the Vedas, those who also accept the Puranas/Itihasas. Those who only do yoga, those who only do rituals, those who only do philosophy.

Response

It is one thing, but it is hard to understand if your idea of reality is based on objects you see (i.e., the bodily concept of life). But if you are advanced enough to understand the mind, then you will understand it quickly. The mind moves up and down, inside and outside, clockwise and anticlockwise. And that idea of mind movement explains the body movement in the same way, without a mind-body problem. A simpler idea of reality based on body movement is not a better idea if you are living in a dualism. A more complex idea is not a worse idea if you have resolved the dualism. So, Vedism is hard to understand if your idea of reality is the body. It is very easy to understand if you know the mind first.

What people do is not necessarily reflective of the system. If someone fell in love with your hands but disregarded your head, then they will mutilate your body to take what they want and reject what they don’t—unless you protect it. That safety system was broken in India in the last 1200 years due to foreign invasions, which is why the system fragmented. But factually everything is fragmented today, including Christianity or Buddhism, into hundreds (if not thousands) of sects. Veda is not unique to that. But a problem that exists everywhere is not NOTICED everywhere because the expectations are higher for Vedism than for other religions. It is a very good problem to have, and I have devoted my life to it.

Comment #2

This guy wouldn’t know what the word ”logic” means, if it slapped him right in the face … he doesn’t know the FIRST law of identity, which IS THE LAW OF LOGIC we are talking about … it’s The First Concept of LOGIC and You are telling Me … he understands logic ??? he Does Not …

Response

You have to know set theory paradoxes to understand why a problem exists. You can preserve logic and have set theory paradoxes. Or, you can reject logic, and resolve the set theory paradoxes. The West has preserved logic and lived with set-theory paradoxes, and the East rejected logic and solved the set-theory paradoxes. You might not know, but there are many alternative systems of logic. For example, Buddhism has a 4-valued system of logic—true, false, neither true nor false, and both true and false. Likewise, Jainism has a 7-valued system of logic. These are motivated by paradoxes.

For example, a person does not lose voting rights if they lose a hand in a war. So, the hand is not the person. But if a hand pressed a trigger to kill someone, you hold the person responsible, not the hand. You cannot say that the hand is responsible, and the hand is not the person, by citing the case of the war veteran who lost a hand in a war. This leads to a paradox —the person is the hand, but the hand is not the person. You try to solve it in set theory and you will see the problem. A set {hands, legs, stomach, head} equals another set {legs, stomach, head} in one case and not in another.

The West has lived with these paradoxes, by framing many different rules for different cases. In Eastern philosophy, we worry a lot about such paradoxes and try to solve them. Understand what it is, why it exists, how it was motivated, and what problem it solves, before you criticize. Don’t assume that logic is correct unless you can solve the paradoxes.

Comment #3

Wow this guy doesn’t understand basic logic confuses A = A the thing itself with the properties of that thing.

Response

When Aristotle talks about the principle of identity, he gives the example of a “man” as a “two-legged animal”. The former is an object and the latter is property. If a man is then redefined as an “intelligent animal”, then by the principle of identity, “two-legged animal” equals “intelligent animal”. Intelligence will then equal two legs. This is why you cannot have more than one property of an object if you want to keep the object. If you have more than one property, then you get rid of the object to avoid the above contradiction. Read up on Aristotle’s Meditations to understand what I’m talking about. Ordinary language terminology is not logical terminology.

If there are multiple properties of an object, then the “thing” is defined as a set of all the properties known to be true simultaneously. There is no object apart from its properties. This is the essence of reductionism. There is no “human” object with properties like size and shape. There are just property tuples. Even a particle is defined by its properties of position and momentum in classical mechanics. A particle never enters the mathematical formalism because position and momentum properties together define a particle. An object is nothing other than all its properties. Properties are physics and objects are metaphysics. Just because you use a distinction between objects and properties in ordinary language doesn’t mean that is what logic or mathematics is.

Another example is that there is no such thing as twoness separate from the number two. Two is twoness. It is not that two is an object with the property of twoness. There is also no such thing as a “number” other than a set of simultaneously knowable numbers. Every number has to be knowable at once eternally for space to exist. This is why time creates a problem because all moments don’t exist at once. And yet, physics treats time just as space—past, present, and future exist simultaneously.

You may not have pondered fundamentals and so you think I don’t know. Ponder them and you will realize the mistake. All the talk about particles and objects is not real. It is just an ordinary language description of logic and mathematics where objects do not exist. They do not exist because the addition of objects to properties leads to paradoxes.

The object-property distinction is logically equivalent to the soul-body distinction. The soul is the object, and the body is its property. If you were quite comfortable with object-and-property, without ever seeing the object other than the property, then you would have no problem in accepting a soul apart from the body which you cannot see because you only see the properties (i.e., the body).

The object-property distinction is not trivial like you make it out to be. The object is properties, but properties are not the object. The notion of “is” is the notion of identity in Aristotelian logic. The problem is that X is Y, but Y is not X. You need both but you can only have one.

Comment #4

I’ve tried a few times to try and criticize you but I don’t even understand your point.

I mean Aristotle didn’t define the principle of identity as a thing having properties, if you give it more properties those properties equal each other.

He said A=A.

A thing doesn’t equal the set of its properties. That’s confusing the concrete, or the thing itself, for the abstract properties which can apply to other concrete things.

For instance, a dog and a cat both have the abstract property of furry but each is concretely a cat and a dog. I don’t understand what logic you are using

Response

Let’s begin with what Aristotle writes. Here is the quote from Meditations.

First then this at least is obviously true, that the word “be” or “not be” has a definite meaning, so that not everything will be “so and not so”. Again, if “man” has one meaning, let this be “two-footed animal”; by having one meaning I understand this:—if “man” means “X”, then if A is a man “X” will be what “being a man” means for him. (It makes no difference even if one were to say a word has several meanings, if only they are limited in number; for to each definition there might be assigned a different word. For instance, we might say that “man” has not one meaning but several, one of which would have one definition, viz. “two-footed animal”, while there might be also several other definitions if only they were limited in number; for a peculiar name might be assigned to each of the definitions. If, however, they were not limited but one were to say that the word has an infinite number of meanings, obviously reasoning would be impossible; for not to have one meaning is to have no meaning, and if words have no meaning our reasoning with one another, and indeed with ourselves, has been annihilated; for it is impossible to think of anything if we do not think of one thing; but if this is possible, one name might be assigned to this thing.)

His writing is a bit confusing because he talks about multiple meanings of a word, allows any finite set of meanings, but then states “to each definition there may be assigned a different word” followed by “not to have one meaning is to have no meaning”. By the fact that he insists that each meaning must have one word assigned to it, the use of multiple definitions and attributes is forbidden.

A is A involves two A’s. The first A is “man” and the second A is a “two-legged animal”. For logic to work, these two have to be exactly identical or synonymous. So, when you say “two-legged animal”, the immediate conclusion must be “man” and vice versa. If some man lost one leg in a war, then he is no longer a man. That is not the TRUTH. That is not a FACT. That is not how WE THINK. But that is LOGIC. You have to understand how different logic is from our ordinary thinking.

You can try to play with any definition of “man”. Spend a few days, months, or years to come up with a definition of “man”. That definition will either be too narrow and preclude some men (e.g., those without two legs) or too broad and include non-men (e.g., birds). You have to spend a few days, months, or years to create an unproblematic definition of “man” to get convinced that there is a problem. You will not be able to create any unproblematic definition. It will either be too narrow or too broad. This is what Socrates did with his debates: He destroyed the idea that you can come up with a definition. Then Plato POSTULATED that even if we cannot come up with a definition, there must be a definition. Then Aristotle revised the idea to say that some Platonic forms (e.g., arithmetic and geometry) will rely on a FIXED definition, while others will not. He called arithmetic and geometry Theoretical Forms, and others like man, woman, human, beauty, and justice as Practical Forms.

Aristotelian logic was NEVER supposed to have been used for anything other than geometry and arithmetic. But Romans took Aristotelian logic and universalized it. Their first application was to Christianity! They forgot the distinction between theoretical and practical forms. Benevolence, soul, God, and religion came under Aristotelian logic. They tried for centuries and could never solve the logical paradoxes. But everybody thinks that because there are paradoxes in Christianity, so RELIGION is false. They don’t know that LOGIC is false. And so religion collapses. Science comes around and tries to universalize logic and mathematics to matter as res extensa. But what is res extensa? It is just a collection of numbers. There is no such thing as “space”. It is just a collection of ordered numbers. From there comes classical mechanics. Particles and points are not physics. They are just linguistic jargon. They are not part of physics. Only position and momentum are part of physics. What are these? They are numbers or values. It is not a point with a value. It is just values. Likewise, there is no such thing as an electron. It is just linguistic jargon. Physics is only the values of position and momentum.

In the early 20th century, Russell and Whitehead tried to solve the problem by using set theory, and then they ran into set theory paradoxes. Then Gödel showed that a number itself can be given multiple meanings, and that leads to contradictions. So, the words in Aristotle’s logic became numbers in Gödel’s system by converting sentences into numbers. Gödel found the same paradoxes. One easy framing of Gödel’s problem is the sentence “I am a liar”. If I’m telling the truth then I’m lying. If I’m lying, then I’m telling the truth. That Liar’s Paradox goes back to Greek times, which means 20th-century mathematics REDISCOVERED the problem that Greeks were talking about. They never solved the problem and neither did modernity. People have tried to beat the problem in various ways in number theory and set theory but the problem is never resolved. They gave up eventually by saying — “We will keep logic intact, and say that set theory and number theory are incomplete”. This is a CHOICE. It is not necessary. It is a choice that humans in the West made. The humans in the East made a different choice, namely, “We will reject logic, to solve the paradoxes of set theory and number theory incompleteness”.

So, if you don’t think that logic has a problem, then go back to set theory paradoxes, number theory paradoxes, and Gödel’s incompleteness. Try to figure out how to fix it. And you will realize that the only way to fix it is by rejecting logic. One has to know the history of science to understand science. A 2500-year-old problem of logic exists today as set theory paradoxes, number theory paradoxes, and Gödel’s incompleteness. But you feel confident about logic. That is the problem with modern education. They don’t teach you what the real problem is. They try to make you feel safe in ignorance. They don’t tell you that incompleteness and set theory paradoxes result from a logic problem. They say: Logic is good, but the set theory has a problem, and number theory has a problem. But they are not SEPARATE PROBLEMS. They are two sides of the same coin. This is why Gödel’s theorem says: “No system of arithmetic is both consistent and complete”. But PEOPLE chose consistency. And thereby, we will call it an “incompleteness theorem”. Why? Because we love our logic too much.

If it is still not clear, then just try to define “man” in a way that precisely includes all men and only men. You will never get a definition of man that includes all and only men. You cannot reconcile multiple definitions either. So, you will conclude that man has many inconsistent definitions. We use some definitions in some cases and other definitions in other cases. But we cannot reconcile these multiple definitions. Hence, we cannot prove all claims about men LOGICALLY. They may still be true, but they are unprovable because trying to prove all truths about men creates contradictions. Logically, the unprovable claims about men should not exist. But they exist. Hence, logic is flawed. Or, the universe of men is illogical. This repeats with every concept. Hence, every universe of any concept is illogical.

The unprovable claims change as you redefine man. This is also Gödel’s incompleteness. It says: You can keep changing your definitions and axioms, and a new set of claims will become unprovable. This is the meaning of “no system of arithmetic”. It involves many alternative axiomatic systems. All of them are problematic, but they are problematic in different ways. Likewise, all definitions of man are problematic. Man is the object, and his definition is his property. The object-property distinction is also A is A because one A is an object and the other A is the property definition.

Comment #5

Sounds kinda complicated.

Response

A chair that folds into a table, bed, and wardrobe is more complex because it is many things at once. But it occupies less physical space. Likewise, a theory that serves many purposes is more complex but it occupies less mental space.

Comment #6

Vedism? I’m not aware of any Vedic tradition that goes by that name. Vedic traditions are all about disciplic succession so to be defending Vedic ideas authentically he needs to be representing a particular tradition.

Response

I explained the meaning of Vedism at the outset. Vit = to know. Veda = knowledge. Vedism = Knowledge-ism, equivalent to semanticism. Then I explained how God = non-dual knowledge. Then I explained how knowledge expands into detailed knowledge and is summarized into succinct knowledge. A verse is knowledge, and a purport is the same verse expanded. The purport emerges from the verse and collapses into the verse. The same verse can be explained in different ways, by authors in different moods. Hence, the reality (verse) is the same, but its interpretation (purport) is mood-dependent. Thereby, one source can create many worlds, for people with different moods. That is a model for all reality, including mind-body, and God-universe.

Why do we need Vedism? The technical reason is above. But more pedantic reasons are that any other term unnecessarily narrows its philosophy, by incorrectly contrasting it to other philosophies. For example, if you talk about Vaishnavism, it is assumed (incorrectly) that we are talking about something in contrast to and different from Shaivism and Shaktism. If you speak of one sampradaya, it is assumed that we are talking about something in contrast to and different from another sampradaya. The mindset that “if it is X then it must not be Y” is very typical today. But it is more prominent in the West.

The sampradaya claim has been misused over and over in the academic system to say that the Vedic texts are NOT one coherent system, but were produced by many people, over the ages, in contradictory ways from one another. You destroy a system by first undermining its UNITY. You divide things, rely on their mutual differences to increase the schism, and when the schisms are sufficiently strong, you can kill each part separately. This is called the “divide and rule” policy. It exists in academics too. This is why we have to go back to the meaning of Veda and show how varied worlds don’t contradict one reality. They are like a verse and its purports.

You have to know which method to use so that it cannot be used against you. You can use different methods for different cases, but awareness of which are good methods to be used for which problem is part of a good workman’s expertise.

Comment #7

What’s the traditional name of the Parampara whose ideas you’re presenting when you say all that? What are some examples of prominent acharyas in that Parampara? You can’t speak for the entire Vedic tradition because they all disagree on all sorts of things.

Response

I represent all the sampradayas. Just like a seed gives birth to a tree, which then gives birth to a fruit, which then gives birth to a seed, which contains the whole tree. Your idea of sampradaya is many branches and fruits. I don’t reject any of them, and yet I’m different from them. That difference is very clearly explained in my books.

Very specifically, I follow His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. If you have read his instructions on how to present Krishna consciousness as a science, then you will know what I’m talking about. But that program is not for everyone.

If you want to go into further details, we can discuss how Sri Chaitanya rejected Dualism or Dvaita of Madhavacharya even though he accepted the sampradaya. Instead, he took the Bhedabheda philosophy from Nimbarka Sampradaya although he rejected that sampradaya because they had contravened Sridhar Swami. Thereby, you can accept the ideas and reject the sampradaya, and you can accept the sampradaya and reject the ideas.

Things are not as simple as you make them out to be. “Either you are with us or you are against us” is George W. Bush philosophy. It is not Vedic philosophy.

Comment #8

“You have to experience it- THEN you’ll see it’s true!!” isn’t very convincing, and to me it just suggests that he’s never tried looking at his religion, from the outside. MOST religions have some experience that believers accept as “spiritual”, and as validating their religion as being true.

Mormons experience “burning in the bosom”, which allows them to KNOW that Joseph Smith’s prophesies were totes 100% true. Christians experience “inner knowledge of Christ”, which lets them KNOW that the only way to heaven, is to submit to Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.

Emotionally-powerful powerful experiences are cheap and plentiful—Your local drug dealer can hook you up for $50… But that doesn’t validate some set of claims about the supernatural…(even if, in your mind, you connect that emotional experience, with the supernatural claims)

Response

I’m not talking about emotional experiences, that come in bursts and are short-lived. The criterion of spiritual progress is NON-REDUCING. It always grows and never reduces. You check that every day, for years, to become convinced that it is here to stay forever. Anything that reduces or disappears is NOT a spiritual experience. It is not a question of my religion or your religion. The eternity of the experiential state is the fundamental criterion for spirituality. Temporary experience is material.

My standard for conviction is that a convinced person will not abandon their conviction even if they were offered a trillion dollars, made the most powerful person in the world, proprietor of the greatest assets, or any other allurement to abandon it. They will die but not abandon it. Conviction is a state in which everything else is inferior, dispensable, and irrelevant. That kind of conviction comes only from experience, not analyzing stuff from the outside. Our standards of conviction are quite different.

Comment #9

Westerners don’t understand Eastern philosophy much, I tried to explain Vaidika philosophy as best I can. I’m a Mahayana Buddhist, but I understand your position.

Response

I’m not sure you do. I’m not talking about philosophy as mine or your opinion. I’m talking about a philosophy that can be used to solve the problems of modern science, including cosmology, physics, mathematics, computer science, biology, psychology, sociology, economics, organization theory, and potentially others. I have applied Vaidika philosophy to discuss, demystify, and solve these problems. My standard of truth is not other-worldly. I’m talking about this-worldly standard for truth by applying the same traditional philosophy to solve modern problems that others cannot solve today. If I can show its truth in this world, then I can claim its truth in the other world. Based on the understanding of this world, I can extend, modify, or enhance the idea of this world into an idea of a better world.

I have also shown why nobody will ever be able to solve these problems because they go back 2500 years to logic itself. Everything thereafter has been flawed. My idea can be called better, only if I can solve something that nobody else can solve. There has to be a test. This is a new standard for religion. No longer my opinion and my faith, my privacy and my right, I believe and I think. All that is over.

One fundamental revision that emerges from a revision to logic is that things are no longer merely true and false. Instead, there are grades of truth–higher and lower truth, bigger and smaller truth, prior and later truth, and superior and inferior truth. A falsity exists but it is such a low-level fact, that we don’t consider it true. For example, I can claim that nature works randomly. Yes, it seems random to me because I don’t know the causality, so to me, it can seem random. It is a personal reality, that exists, but it is not true. A personal belief, or even experience, that is not permanently true is a falsity.

Epistemology cannot be separated from time, because lies are DISPROVEN over time. Epistemology cannot be separated from space, because lies are DISPROVEN by events in other places in space. Epistemology cannot be separated from personhood, because lies are DISPROVEN only for some people and not for others, at some places, and some times. Epistemology requires time, space, and person.

So, what happens if you claim to know the truth, but that truth is not time, not space, not a person? You have eliminated the ground on which truth stands. You can eliminate the knower and say that it is true because it is no longer disprovable. But the absence of refutation is not a confirmation. So, if you say you understand me, I will accept it as your mental reality or your belief. But that doesn’t mean it is true.

Comment #10

Yes, the ego thing is very unfortunate. I’m glad your conscious of that.

Response

There are two kinds of ego–true ego and false ego. Both can lead to anger and outbursts. There is also a four-step process of sāma (explaining the reasoning), dāna (explaining the benefits), daṇḍa (punishment), and bheda (separation). The last two seem like ego, but if they follow the first two, then they are not called ego. The example of the Mahabharata war is also relevant. It comes after the failure of rational negotiations. There are many methods to analyze the cause of the effect. This is the principle of underdetermination. One effect doesn’t have only one cause. Psychoanalysis is quite easy, although you cannot see my mind. Therefore, we have to adopt the above methods of behavioral event-sequence analysis.

There are many models of education. In the Western model, you pay money and you never get whacked. In the Vedic model, education is free, and you get whacked by the teacher. In the Western model, a teacher doesn’t care if you learn or not. He will give you grades and fail you on the exam. In the Vedic model, a teacher cares about you and tries to graduate you to the next level. So, don’t mix two things because they are incompatible. You can pay a lot of money to get educated and the teacher doesn’t care if you learn anything. Or, you can get it for free and the teacher cares, but you get whacked.

If you are not convinced, then read what Krishna says to Arjuna at the outset: “While talking like an intelligent man you are a fool”. It begins with whacking. Then comes: “Never was there a time I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings, and never will there be a time when we shall cease to be”. You have to meditate on why it begins by whacking. In this case, Krishna doesn’t give sāma (reasoning) and dāna (benefits). He begins with daṇḍa (punishment). Then comes reasoning. While you are contemplating this scenario, remember that socially speaking, Krishna and Arjuna are friends. In that specific position, Krishna has taken the role of a charioteer and is lower than Arjuna. Still, there is whacking by the teacher.

Now if you think we are equals and just having a mutually respectable discussion, then that is another thing. It is your assumption, not mine. There is also no free speech in the Vedic system. Those who know speak, and those who don’t know have to keep quiet. Read Srimad Bhagavatam too and find out how many times Parikshit got whacked by Sukadeva Goswami. These are not stories and mythologies for me. I study them, I practice them, and I mold myself accordingly.

Comment #11

brain in the vat problem

Response

You cannot have skepticism and brain in a vat together. Skepticism begins by asking: “What is the evidence for that?” Applied to “brain in the vat” the skeptical question would be: “What is the evidence for that?” I abundantly explained why the brain in a vat assumes realism (space, time, matter, causality, and laws) and then a specific kind of reality constructed from the above (brain, vat, wires, computer, software, evil programmer). If you assume all the above, then you are not a skeptic. You are rather a materialist, who assumes materialism conveniently without proof. Materialism is not skepticism.

Your confusion comes from the fact that those who claim to be skeptics are also materialists. And my counterargument is very simple: Establish realism first. This is actually as old as Hume’s skepticism, and Kant’s response, which was that there is no realism to space, time, object, causality, and law. All these are instead OUR MENTAL CONSTRUCTIONS upon sense data. Science is not about reality or truth. It is how WE SEE THE WORLD. Of course, to preserve the universality of science, Kant claimed that this way of seeing the world is universal. That point was disproved by Einstein when he showed that properties like distance and duration are subjective (and hence relative to an observer) not universal facts.

Skepticism, as it started from Socrates, went to Descartes, then to Hume, and even after that, has never been answered. It is either Socratic permanent ignorance of the truth, or the Cartesian faith in God that rescues the skeptic, or a Kantian idealism that separates the mind from the world and claims that all scientific ideas are embedded in the mind as human ways of thinking, which cannot be universal because the mind is not universal. If you go down this path of skepticism, you will realize how big the problem is. But if one doesn’t know history, then he can say: The brain in a vat is also skepticism. No, it is not. The brain is vat is materialism. And it is an assumptive materialism, with no proof.

Skepticism + “brain in a vat” is a system of double standards, and I rejected that double standard. You have to follow the same standards that you want to use in skepticism. If you don’t like the fact that I reject double standards, then it’s not a logical, technical, scientific, or philosophical issue. It is simply the issue that you are using double standards and I’m not amenable to that kind of abuse.

Comment #12

he makes it super complicated and always talks about how no one is smart enough to understand him. This is extremely different from Prabhupada’s approach which was to explain everything in a very simple way

Response

I apologize that I’m not as advanced as Prabhupada. As one advances more in spiritual life, one finds simpler ways to explain the same thing. But here’s what Prabhupada had to say about scientifically presenting Vedic knowledge: “it is for classes, not masses”. What Prabhupada was explaining was not simple. But it looked very simple to most people.

For example, Prabhupada said many times “God is everything, but everything is not God”. Quite simple? No. I say the same thing as the violation of the Principle of Identity where even if X is Y, Y may not be X. You may easily accept Prabhupada’s statement and still continue to rely on the Principle of Identity. That is not called *understanding* Prabhupada. It is compartmentalizing Prabhupada into a box, separate from the box of logic, with mutually unresolved contradictions.

Similarly, Prabhupada said many times “Always remember Krishna and never forget Him”. Why is the second part necessary? Prabhupada explains in one place that assertion doesn’t preclude the negation, so it has to be explicitly negated. This is also non-binary logic, but you may have accepted it without understanding what he is saying.

In general, Bhedabheda means identity and difference, which is also logically contradictory. So, if logic is true, then Bhedabheda is false, and vice versa. But you can appear to accept both, without resolving the contradictions. Then we can talk about science and religion without recognizing the abundant use of “Achintya” which precludes the conversation.

I’m not making things more complicated. I’m trying to resolve the contradictions in everyone’s thinking. If that sounds too disturbing, then it is not my fault. I am merely giving a precise logical form to what Prabhupada said. And I’m doing that after carefully picking each sentence, studying it very carefully, contrasting it to what others say, and explaining it.

Comment #13

Ashish spoke about preaching in a scientific way, but Prabhupada had disciples such as Sadaputa Prabhu who he untrusted to preach using science and their work is ready to understand

Response

I don’t mean to demean Sadaputa Prabhu, but his analysis of evolution ignored the most fundamental point about how the body is born from the mind and relied on fossil evidence. He never spoke about how radically different species (e.g., snakes and birds) can be born from other species (e.g., humans). This is how species are explained to have been born in Srimad Bhagavatam (e.g., from Karadam Muni). Why were these key points ignored? Maybe he did not accept them? Or he thought it was too difficult for his audience to accept it? Or that he himself did not understand how these could happen?

His analysis of Vedic cosmology ignored the most fundamental point in modern cosmology, namely that light comes to us from everywhere and therefore we can see everything. It may be low-resolution, but we can see. That is not the cosmology in the Vedic texts. For example, the light of the sun doesn’t go to Mahar, Jana, Tapa, and Satya Loka. It only goes to Bhu, Bhuvar, and Svarga, which is why the Gayathri mantra, which invokes the Sun, speaks about only Bhu, Bhuvar, and Svarga. The light of the sun doesn’t go to the Tala, Atala, Vitala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatal, and Patala. These planets are ignited by shining stones (likened to light-emitting diamonds). So, you can write a book on cosmology without ever discussing the reasons why light doesn’t spread uniformly in all directions and places. But that is not Vedic cosmology, because it doesn’t explain the nature of light and doesn’t distinguish between modern and Vedic cosmology. It cannot explain why we don’t see the topmost 4 and the bottommost 7 planetary systems. It can only explain the observation of the middle three. And when I present a model of cosmology in which the idea of space is different to explain why light doesn’t spread uniformly, and hence everything cannot be seen, it may seem too complicated. But there is nothing I can do about that. Simplicity that ignores the most fundamental issues is bought too cheaply. It is not sustainable simplicity. It arises because we have separate compartments for different ideas.

There are hundreds of such issues, not one or two. You go down the path of addressing all these issues, and you will see how complex reality is. But you can ignore all the issues and think you understand something, but it is not true.

Comment #14

I don’t see how this has any relevance to the applicability of logic.

Response

Then why not ask? I wrote a detailed description of the various problems in logic, and how they transform into other problems over time.

I have cited Aristotle from Meditations to show how he defines the Principle of Identity as “one word has one meaning”. This is a false idea. Godel showed that numbers also have multiple interpretations, and I have discussed these extensively in my books. For example, in a computer, 1 and 0 are used in three ways—as data, as instruction, and as truth values. The computer architecture makes sure that there are three separate kinds of memories in which these three interpretations of “1” and “0” are stored. The instruction memory, data memory, and truth value memory are separate. The problem is solved by creating separate compartments for each interpretation of 1. And when you separate the different interpretations then you get all kinds of new problems such as incompleteness and the Halting Problem. How many people know this?

The problem of logic that goes unsolved creates many new problems over time. I have explained these problems in my books conceptually and historically. The above slide deck discusses how logic problems create causality problems of indeterminism because “X causes Y” is not invertible to “Y is caused by X”. Then during this podcast, I explained how “Ashish is cruel” and “Ashish is kind” are logically incompatible but both are true. They are not universal truths, but contextual truths. But both kindness and cruelty exist in me as potentials that are realized in different contexts. If you still cannot see these simple issues described by such easy examples then what can I do?

A is A assumes that there is an objective reality, not a potentiality because A is A assumes a logical NECESSITY. Choice is not a Necessity. When you insist that A is A as a necessity, then you have eliminated choice from logic. Then, if I have cruelty in me, it must be always manifest, as a logical necessity. And due to that, I can never display kindness, because cruelty is already a necessity. This is how you get materialism. It is embedded in logic. Logic precludes the existence of choice.

The above slide deck explains how choice and logic are compatible. That is how we learn to use logic differently in religion. If you keep present logic, then there is room for no choice, and religion collapses. Aristotle had made it abundantly clear what logic was meant for, namely, only arithmetic and geometry. Romans universalized it. And after 2000 years everybody forgot what restrictions Aristotle had put on logic. All these things are not taught in schools or colleges. Simply a dogma is indoctrinated without telling students its limitations.

If you want to discuss religion scientifically, then begin with the problem presented by a deity. Science says a deity is atoms, molecules, stone, wood, etc. And religion says that the SAME THING is God. It is not this-world vs. other-world. It is not what you can see vs. what you cannot see. The dichotomy is best illustrated when the SAME THING is described in two ways–one by science and the other by religion. Keep this problem as your guiding light, the North Star as you navigate the sea of philosophy. Find a simpler answer to the problem that obviates all that I have written or spoken about. If you can, then I will also accept that simple answers to difficult problems exist. If not, then asking for simplicity is not asking for the truth.

Comment #15

No logical principles are violated by God being the world but the world not being God. That statement simply means there are ways in which God is one with the world and ways in which God is different from the world. We don’t have contradictions we have paradoxes. A contradiction is something that cannot be, a paradox is something that seems contradictory but which makes complete sense at higher levels of understanding.

Response

>> No logical principles are violated by God being the world but the world not being God.

Yes, they are. God is good. The world is evil. Good created evil. Hence, good is evil. The oldest problem in Christianity.

>> We don’t have contradictions we have paradoxes.

Don’t play with words like paradox and contradiction. I can invent my own words. It doesn’t mean squat. Set theory contradictions are called paradoxes. Godel’s incompleteness is called incompleteness rather than inconsistency. They are all contradictions. Inventing new words to make the problem seem less severe is not the pursuit of truth.

Comment #16

You’re just showing that you don’t understand the brain in the vat problem. The point isn’t to assume brains or evil scientists exist. The point is to give an example of a scenario that is compatible with the same data we already have. If 2 competing hypotheses are equal in how well they explain the data then the task of finding reasons to favor one over the other remains.

The skeptic does not need to believe brains and vats exist in order to have a hypothesis. It’s a thought experiment, not something skeptics expect us to believe is real.

Response

>> The point is to give an example of a scenario that is compatible with the same data we already have.

No, it isn’t. I have the option of detaching myself from my mind, but the brain in the vat doesn’t have that option. Even the claim I think therefore I exist assumes that I exist only when I’m awake. When I sleep, I do not think. So, do I cease to exist? The Cartesian argument ignores the fact that I exist regardless of whether I think or I don’t. I exist when I’m awake and when I’m asleep. Hence, I am not thought. The thought is in the mind, but I am not the mind. How do you know? By the fact that you don’t cease to exist during sleep.

This is why in Sāñkhya and Yoga, we go from waking to dreaming to deep sleep and then to transcendent. If Descartes talks about hallucinations, we can say it is like dreams. And you equate this argument to the brain in the vat which is also dreaming. Now, if you want to argue against it, rise up a little to deep sleep. Then you can show that I am not thought, not perception, not judgment, because I exist even during deep sleep. Then, you can rise a little more upward to talk about what “I” is. That will require non-binary logic because the same thing is the knower, known, and knowing. You have to know the template of reality to argue against false claims.

Your supposed equivalence between a human and a brain in a vat is false. They are not equal because I have the willpower to withdraw from the mind but a brain in the vat doesn’t. The brain in the vat is helpless. All the Cartesian arguments are also bogus because they equate the self to thought. Then the Cartesian demon argument is also bogus because I can withdraw from the mind and the demon ceases to control me. Hence, I need to develop the willpower to withdraw from the demon rather than rely on God’s benevolence to salvage me.

Do you see the differences? The Cartesian argument is relying on Christian ideas, namely, that I have to do nothing and God saves me by His benevolence. This is what Protestant Christianity was teaching: Salvation by grace and not by works. We are not teaching those things. So, it is a Protestant Christianity assumption and not my assumption. It is also a false assumption. The whole argument is false from beginning to end. The conclusion it gets to is also false, namely, that world is not an illusion because there is a benevolent God. Really? Descartes may be drinking alcohol which is contaminating his mind and creating a false idea of the world, and yet his false ideas cannot be called a hallucination because God is benevolent? The whole thing is childishly ridiculous.

>> The skeptic does not need to believe brains and vats exist in order to have a hypothesis. It’s a thought experiment, not something skeptics expect us to believe is real.

What happens when a thought experiment makes false assumptions? Do you have a way to eliminate them from the thought experiment? You don’t. And this is the problem with Western philosophy. It makes assumption after assumption after assumption. And then it tries to prove that something is not possible under these assumptions using binary logic. That logic is false. The assumptions are false. And the conclusion is false. The whole thing is false from beginning to end. But it is presented as if it is making a valid argument.

For example, without establishing realism, assume that there is a world. Without explaining how an object becomes a concept, assume that the brain equals the mind. Without understanding how electrons in brains become taste, smell, tone, and shape assume that the brain is an electrical circuit that can be connected to yet another electrical circuit with wires. Without understanding the difference between self and thought, assume that control of thought is control of self. Then use binary logic—either we are free or we are not. Viola, we are not free.

Brain in a vat is a bogus example meant to train ordinary people into thinking that they have no choice. Philosophers are paid to normalize the idea that we are brains in the vat so that nobody will protest when they lose their freedom. This is a political doctrine rather than philosophy.

Comment #17

I’m very fond of pointing out to skeptics how their own epistemology can’t justify many of their beliefs. That’s going down the vein of convincing them to accept an epistemology that can justify their beliefs. Then next step would be to see if that new epistemology favors some kind of theism more than atheism or materialism.

Response

And yet, you don’t want to abandon your belief in logic. Maybe you did not read through the slides I asked you to read? There too I have shown why your belief in logic is false due to what you call “paradoxes”. You make it benign. The difference comes due to your belief in logic. What you like to believe in is a benign problem despite all its contradictions.