Tuesday, May 07, 2013



PROLOGUE:

As a general rule, which one do you think is better?
    A. MAXIMIZE *GOOD*
    B. MINIMIZE * BAD*
   
Part 1 of this series evaluated the merits and demerits of government policies directed towards economic growth (MAXMIZE *GOOD*) Vs. policy making focused on civic responsibilities and controlling the undesirables such as crime, poverty, air pollution etc. (MINIMIZE *BAD*).

Continued from Part 1 …


CHAPTER 2: THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING, SOMETHING WITH THE FEEL-GOOD


Folks, for all we know, scientists are saying that this entire universe could be a simulation. Why, imagine that everything we feel, see and touch are just bits of information and lines of code carrying out instructions for our over-lords with apparently no free-will. In times of crisis like this, grab your bow & arrow collection (hunger games style) and never trust your brain to tell you what’s *GOOD* for you. I have said it in Part 1 and I will say it again if I have to. Our brain is the biggest trickster there ever was. Don’t be all biased and think that our mind is just a source of joy. It is at the same time a source of equal, if not more, number of regrets. Look it up, the seers and saints gave up good food and fast cars to meditate under trees and cobwebs to bring us eternal truths regarding this. You are going to eventually bored of things you like today. And the mind develops fascination for something else only to shove it down the crapshoot later on. It’s that brutal …  

If what feels good is so transient, so hazy, so shape-shifting, imagine planning our lives by trying to chase what makes us feel good (sounds like a bad "greedy algorithm"?). It all doesn’t seem very bright to me, dear friends.  Chasing things we like always comes with some or other costs. There’s always gonna be something, something. May be you like a job that earns you a lots of money and soon, you might be left with no time or the peace of mind to respectfully blow that money up. May be you like to earn time instead and you will figure out that only job that really gives you time to do soul-searching and think things through is having no job at all. May be you like sweet stuff, there’s diabetes. May be you like salty snacks, there’s blood pressure. May be you like smoking a lot of pot, perhaps it could be health-wise safe, someone close to you will be cranky with you for not paying attention to what they are saying. There’s always something. Twilight writes about the pit-falls of dating girls chosen because of their interests in biryani or reading or traveling. May be you like a guy with a good sense of humor, sooner or later he will ridicule your “ooh so sacred and precious mood-swings” with biting wit and test your sportive-ness at a time you may not be quite ready and it's all down-hill from there. May be, you fell for this hot girl 'coz of her excellent hip-to-waist ratio and she turns out to be obsessed with cleanliness and godliness!!! There’s always goddamn something. Remember what happened to Humpty Dumpty? Sure the view from top of the wall was pleasant until the great fall. This is the unavoidable problem with MAXIMIZE *GOOD* mode of thinking. Beware of the side-effects or the nerdy name I gave them - “Conditional Blindness to Externalities (CBE)”.  In all important questions, we can only be sure of what we don't want, qualify that criteria first and take it from there. It's more rational.

And then, there is the second side-effect - “The Mythology of Endless Improvements (MEI)”. I already spoke about how no major country today can talk of sacrificing economic growth even if it means we are burning down the entire planetary climatic cycles with no insurance plan whatsoever. Same trap with us as well. When they give you the option on the first day of college, let’s say you picked the blue pill (stands for “cool dude”), not the red one (stands for “neurotic”) and decided that being cool is good. Soon, you will start hanging out with like-minded people wearing expensive shades and branded clothing.  In the process of maximizing *BEING COOL*, you will eventually learn the Harlem shake or start using words like LOL in actual real-life conversations and if you take it any further, you become one of those guys gtoosphere mocks and makes fun of to become a popular blogger.  See? You can’t get off the treadmill of expectations. You can’t back down no more. You can’t maintain the same amount of coolness like last week. That’s lazy. You have to keep pushing the envelope, keep trying to invent more and more ways to become cool until you are a public nuisance and must be banned from civil society.

You find the same thing with most people who decide to have any affirmative agenda. We got feminism which started off as a good thing for women having equal rights with men in terms of voting, career, smoking and refusing face-creams, refusing to cook and clean at home. Now, they have gotten to a point where these lipstick feminists are asking divorced women not to accept alimony anymore because it’s supposedly anti-women which is when everyone stood up to realize not to get too carried away with these gypsies and START
REFUSING MONEY for the sake of a misguided ego.

MEI effects are the reason why every Bollywood / Tollywood heroine must now look like an item-girl these days though it probably started with someone thinking that having heroine expose a little is *GOOD*. The MEI effects all over again as we, acting on our default consumer impulses, ritualistically replace our 3G phone with a 4G one, a 4G one with a 5G one etc., without pausing to think what all this high-speed information access does to our attention spans, all the while believing that MAXIMIZING *information transfer rate* (or MAXIMIZE *self-respect through shopping choices*!!?) has to be invariably awesome. It’s the reason why cricket in India is losing its fan base because so much cricket is played these days. When India toured West Indies or Australia or England, it used to be historic and we’d all wait for it. Now they do it every year and no one even cares to keep track of the scores and records. Besides, look at the life of the poor suckers, those Indian cricketers are demanded to play every year in a half a dozen test-series home and away, and another half-a-dozen one day series, T20 internationals and on top of that IPL and Champions Trophy. Owing to MEI, BCCI will never back down, schedule lesser cricket for the money from the whole cricketing boom is so *GOOD*.

I can go on and on with examples …


But here's what saves us.
On a personal level, these things are easy to control because we have a heart and a conscience and we are immediately criticized by our friends and families when the side-effects of MAXIMIZE *GOOD* exceed acceptable limits of civility.  However, for a group of people who gathered together for a specific intention, the CBE and MEI effects are harder to contain because a collection of people can’t have a conscience and can’t be that flexible. This is why corporations’ crimes in the name of profits are so tough to regulate and convict; which is why when unchecked jingoistic, nationalistic or religious organizations progressively get radicalized; which is why libertarian free market parties ignore social welfare programs and which is why extreme communist politics tend to undermine individual enterprise and hard-work  ... 

The whole point is that trying to “get more of what we want” (MAXIMIZE *GOOD* mode) without proper clarity and success on “what we don’t want" (worked-out from MINIMIZE *BAD*) can make our plans, our lives, our institutions and our culture spiral out of control. Any mission statements (like “maximize job satisfaction” or “maximize share-holder value”) cannot be properly justified without the associative performance and moral boundaries expressed in terms of a VIA NEGATIVA list (example: “I don’t want to get stuck in a mundane job” or “There's no way I am exposing myself to radioactive levels of shallow small-talk in the name of professional networking and maintaining connections” or “Our company will not hire contractors who violate safety regulations in their facilities”). Perhaps, that's why most reasonable reading of all religions emphasize on a list of DONTs as moral imperatives (Example: "The 10 commandments", श्रूयतां धर्मसर्वस्वं श्रुत्वा चाप्यवधार्यताम्। आत्मनः प्रतिकूलानि परेषां न समाचरेत्।। - "If the entire “Dharma” (spiritual and moral laws) can be said in a few words, then it is - that which is unfavorable to us, DO NOT DO that to others" - Padmapuraana, shrushti 19/357-358).


CHAPTER 3: AFTER VIA NEGATIVA … NOW WHAT?

A little warning here. First of all, no one can go through life with an attitude of "I don’t know what I want. I only know what I don't want". We have to positively, emphatically DO specific stuff in life. People pay you for doing work and unless you are related in some way to the owner of the company, it's going to be very hard to find a boss who is willing to give you a paycheck for "not doing any damage". You have to look at the menu and at least be little more specific about your meal-order to the waitress than “I am in the mood for something that won’t kill me”.  Similarly, you have to be more than "NOT a bad person" to get someone to go out on a date with you. In everyday life, we have to give a *GOOD* reason why people would want to have something to do with us. Others can only appreciate once we have done something *GOOD*. This is why we find MAXIMIZE *GOOD* policies intuitively appealing and thus often hastily make the mistake of adopting them.

Naturally, knowing only what we don’t want to do is not enough. My argument is that it’s an absolute necessity to first define the list of negatives to avoid no matter what before we chase something *GOOD*. Besides, following the VIA NEGATIVA principle or not doing what you don’t want to do takes zero seconds of your time.  What are you going to do with the rest of the day?  Squat around on the couch trying to flip TV channels to identify what you more don’t you like?  Of course, we must keep trying different things to find out the right way to get to the *GOOD*. That’s the real happy ending.

The core argument of VIA NEGATIVA principle is that it is more rational to plan large, complex contexts in life by first setting the boundaries for *BAD*, working on securing them and then, opening the many possibilities in an adventurous way rather than a priori fixing and limiting the notion of *GOOD* in a narrow way. 









34 comments :

Twilight Musings said...

Summary:
Set constraints for optimization. Unconstrained optimization comes at a high cost, whatever the objective function.

The end. :)

Sash! said...

perfect-o ... you just almost made me feel bad for writing this long for such a simple point ... :)

char pics said...

If what feels good is so transient, so hazy, so shape-shifting, imagine planning our lives by trying to chase what makes us feel good- EPIC line !

Interesting blog :-)

Sash! said...

@ char pics: thanks ... :)

char pics said...

Well my comment is not exactly related to this blog...but then you may reply if you are interested...

I have a problem whenever someone says something is already written in hindu scriptures (in your case 'neti neti' )...Because what is NOT written in hindu scriptures? You believe in dual nature (dvaita), then you are a hindu...you dont belive in it ?( advaita)..you are a hindu...You are an atheist ?( samkhya philospohy) you are still a hindu...you believe in idol worship ? you are a hindu...you dont? still a hindu...you believe eating vegetarian food ? u r a hindu and u dont? still a hindu...and the list goes on and on and on...Just take a single thing and think of the opposite of it, i m sure even that is written already ! 'Neither this,nor that' ?? i m sure "either this or that" and "this and that" are also written in hindu scriptures.

You believe in waging war and killing when hinduism in danger? something of this sorts is already written in mahabharat ( similar to jihad)...You believe in reigious tolerance?? Even that is mentioned in hindu scritpures...

The reason for all this is as I see..they are written till 1100 AD from 1500BC. Over the times these thing are written over political reasons. Religious tolerance ensures big numbers for hinduism. ( Remember at one point hindu religion was in the direction of extinction,when buddhism was more popular which today is almost extinct in india which is a different thing altogether). Things are very subtly written. Technically you are still a hindu even though u believe in other faith.

Now my point is...what is the use in sharing such things?

A U A' = full set.

They said both A and A'. People today are cherishing it. If i were veda vyas,valmiki..you guys are like my dream audience. What shit i wrote and how u guys eulogise it even 3000yrs later.

Twilight Musings said...


"What shit i wrote and how u guys eulogise it even 3000yrs later."

LOL. There is even worse shit written by everyone else ("kill all your enemies and take their women as your wives", "it's no problem to marry a 14-yr-old") that is followed more rigorously elsewhere. At least a Hindu isn't still following "asta vasharth bhaveth kanya" (at 8 years a girl becomes "kanya"-eligible for marriage).

So, there should be some credit for filtering the shit better. At the end of the day, all previously written stuff looks like shit as we gain more and more knowledge. Every great scientist got half the shit wrong for all their great contributions. (Newton worked on Alchemy, Galileo got how beams work wrong).

So, what's wrong in cherishing stuff that at least makes sense? Do you suppose we should stop using Pythagoras theorem just because it is recorded by Greeks who got a lot of other stuff wrong?

On being Hindu, it is a condition stemming from 'definition'. Today, if you say all people in US will belong to 'Capitalism' religion, you will end up with as many definitions for that religion.

So, Ayn Rand and Thoreau become equally valid in describing that society. But, is that really what capitalism about?

Btw, minor pick on
"You believe in waging war and killing when hinduism in danger? something of this sorts is already written in mahabharat ( similar to jihad).."

The war in Mahabharat wasn't because Hinduism is in danger (Where Kauravas not Hindus?). It is about "doing the right thing by following the duty".

When Hinduism IS in danger, we will get reincarnations to protect it("dharma samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge"); not the followers duty to do war for it.

Let's do a better job of defining A even if we are including ~A under the same umbrella.

Flawsophy said...

@char pics: hehe ... I see where you are coming from. Hinduism has everything, says everything and so does Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica which is why we should never quote them !!!

But, let’s pause a while and see if Hinduism is a self-contained scripture like other "historical" texts. My opinion is that it's not. It's a name given by western scholars in the manner of notation to collectively refer to what emerged from this culture. Just like Wikipedia, if you collect contributions from a million people across a 100 generations, you will run into contradiction of the form:

A U A' = full set

In fact, the above rule of A U A' is how we deconstruct each other's fallacies but the key assumption is that the source is self-contained.

Here's where I have a problem with this kind of reading of history :

"They said both A and A'".

Who exactly is they? In fact, it's only us who are creating a story with a bunch of dead people as if they have conspired sat together, drank Soma and wrote all those texts. There is no "they". It's us who prefer if there were a "they", then we can feel better by accusing them of being confused and inconsistent while fulfilling our psychological need for a story with a plot and an ending. The way I look at it, the fact that everything has been said is only an evidence for a pluralistic society that allowed never quashing any view-points.

If one reads them carefully, Ved Vyas does have a consistent point. So do the Advaita folks. So do the Sankhyas. If we find that Advaita disagrees with Dvaita, it’s perhaps our own ignorance if we think that both of them came from the same chap with a multiple personality disorder.

Sure, I agree with you that if someone says "Hinduism says X … ", it's not a valid reference and it gives every right for us to call upon people's BS if they do that and try to get away. The correct protocol for referencing should be "Text S of Hinduism says X … ". That way, we can have a discussion on what Text S says and what are the opposing points for S and so on …

Lastly, the reason I quoted "Neti Neti" is to finally admit that there is nothing very original about the idea presented and these have been already figured out by ancient and wiser people.

Now in future, if I say, "this and that" after today's "not this, not that" (which I am sure, I will), you are welcome to call me on my BS but only because me or this blog is a self-contained source of information (unlike Hinduism) … :)

@ Twilight: Good point : "what's wrong in cherishing stuff that at least makes sense? Do you suppose we should stop using Pythagoras theorem just because it is recorded by Greeks who got a lot of other stuff wrong?".

Although, I am using the Indian version of Pythagoras Theorem because it's more older :)

Twilight Musings said...

@flawsophy

he-he..here I was thinking we should progress from 'neti neti' to 'tatvam asi'. :)
Some folks like that certainty as they get older, you know.

Do you remember the Indian version Pythagoras theorem reference?

I vaguely remember reading a Sanskrit sloka math question about "Lotus stem is 'x' length standing in a pond and the base of the flower touches the water due to a wave (or flow) at 'y' distance away. What is the depth of the pond?".

But I thought this was at a later date than original Pythagoras.

Sash! said...

I don't know the sloka.

I read that in Clifford Pickover's "Math Book" ...

I googled and found this:

http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Indian_sulbasutras.html

Twilight Musings said...

Yeah, I saw the sulbasutras reference. But, I have low confidence on dating many texts. May be someday we will decode IVC script and have some solid reference point...

BTW, I am not sure if we should BS everyone for evolving. Shouldn't people be allowed to change their positions as the circumstances change? Otherwise, we will end up with same rigidity throughout our lifetimes.

Of course, this is also in hindu scriptures, (desa, kaala, paatra)...;)

Sash! said...

Didn't understand what did you meant by:

"BTW, I am not sure if we should BS everyone for evolving. Shouldn't people be allowed to change their positions as the circumstances change? Otherwise, we will end up with same rigidity throughout our lifetimes."

!!!

Twilight Musings said...

@Sash!

that is in reference to:

"Now in future, if I say, "this and that" after today's "not this, not that" (which I am sure, I will), you are welcome to call me on my BS but only because me or this blog is a self-contained source of information (unlike Hinduism) … :) "

char pics said...

""They said both A and A'".

Who exactly is they? In fact, it's only us who are creating a story with a bunch of dead people as if they have conspired sat together, drank Soma and wrote all those texts."

I dont know what made you think I thought of hindu scriptures being writtem by one person because even I said it is written over 2milleniums which include political factors.

Anyway after a reading your reply I was wondering for a minute whether I was talking about hinduism or law making procedure in a democratic country like India where everyones view is important :-D

Let hindu scriptures contain everything. I have no issues. But what bothers me is that there is no doctrine at all . You could be jus ANY person in this planet believing any faith or no faith or mixture of faiths, you would still identify yourself with hindu scriptures. adi thondi anna :D You should have some doctrine. Anyway there are no standards for a religion to be qualified to be called as religion in the first place. So thats fine .

Regarding your self contained scripture, i understood zilch of your explanation. This is generally expected from a person who is hell bent upon supporting hinduism- Answer replete with gobbledegook-y jargon. What is self containment asalu ?elucidate if possi ..


char pics said...

@twilight musings :
"At least a Hindu isn't still following "asta vasharth bhaveth kanya" (at 8 years a girl becomes "kanya"-eligible for marriage). "

I dont know how you came to this conclusion abt hindus.Just few days back a person in karimnagar killed his 4yr old son by cutting his head and hands to appease hindu god. At the same time there are religius tolerant ppl in other religions.Its not hindus property ( tolerance).

Religious fanatics are there in all religions.Hindus in urban areas are generaly less religious these days. Thats because of lack of time. Infact every religion it is reducing.If you could evaluate urban devotionall index in all cities ,I m sure you would find it on declining side ..haha

Hindus are no higher mortals dude !

Regarding your shit filtering process...#okay

smanu said...

@Sash: Hope u allow me into this discussion!

@char pics: (If u allow me to reply to the concerns/criticism addressed here...)

If one were to understand GOD and not just believe in that concept, religion is only a path, an instrument created by man himself to bridge the void between "The quintessence of God(What is GOD exactly?), God's expectations of how humanity ought to lead their lives" and "Man's understanding of God and His/Her expectations of humanity's way of living and the tradeoff man arrives at, b/w God and Humanity". BUT, both the ends of this void keep changing all the time. The paradox though is that while our aim here is to understand God, one can understand God only through him, i.e., He is both the 'subject' of research and also the 'means' to reach the ends of that research.

While all religions might not really be equal in God's eyes(owing to the flaws and principles), people of all religions sure will be deemed equal. Nobody here has actually said that Hindus are higher mortals! But, I for one, would surely say that Hinduism is the most ancient recorded religion known to mankind, it inherently means that the faith has sustained the ebbs and tides of a vast span of time and STILL exists and continues to draw people into its fold.

Regarding this A U A': (Excuse me for quoting the discussion very literally here)While u guys have been saying that A U A' = full set, I differ slightly here. This full set is definitely not a 'universal' set. I don't think there is anti-thesis for just about every thesis. [Eg: While telling lies is not supposed to be virtuous, we have been given situations where lies are acceptable and saying truth at higher costs(say at the cost of a life) turns out to be mere stupidity. This was to explain the concept of higher Dharma, this cannot be taken as a specific case of A U A' coz both the situations have different contexts]Things seem to conflict only becuase of the changed times and different contexts, the principles are applied to. But then there have been rigid and timeless rules, concepts and principles prescribed by Hinduism.

"Just few days back a person in karimnagar..." Let's not really use specific exceptions to disprove any axiom/religion. If that were the case I should start on how superficial people's understanding can get, owing to their own flawed interpretation of different religions. Eg: In Islam: Jihad - How holy war can be mistaken for safeguard of religion, completely male-pro laws for marriage, multiple spouses, talaq, burqah etc etc; In christianity: How Pre Marital Sex, Role of parents in Marriage is completely misunderstood and abused leading to a wrong fabric of the society altogether. There will be exceptions all the time, the flaw is in the people interpreting the religion, not in the religion itself.



smanu said...

That said, I would still have a higher regard for Hinduism, because it is ancient, has seen larger spans of time and hence assimilated larger set of ideas. To me, it only means that Hinduism has better references and yardsticks(be it of nature, human body-world analogies and most of the other things we know and don't know today) than other religions.

Sash! said...

@char pics:

First of all, let me make it very clear that I am as agnostic as any wise-ass, western-educated, pseudo intellectual with a science background can be. So, I am not trying to defend "Team Hindu" in anyway if you read carefully. I am merely pointing out that Hinduism is not technically an "ism", and one should stop treating it that way and blame it for being inconsistent.

BINGO on "You could be jus ANY person in this planet believing any faith or no faith or mixture of faiths, you would still identify yourself with hindu scriptures ... adi thondi anna". Completely agree. In fact, I might have beat you to it by writing the following: :P

http://flawsophy.tumblr.com/post/13923711006/hindu-atheists


But, hey, why is it thondi ? Why the need for a doctrine ? This is probably where I differ. Nothing wrong with options in life. Right? Works well with T-shirt shopping !!! Why not a culture give options with something important like spirituality ? There is nothing wrong with people subscribing to a spiritual model of the universe that they connect with most and I am sure you don't have a problem with that as well. I believe that's how it works all the time. We shop for the most convenient belief system that's there. In fact, I argued that it's the case with everything in life and not just with faith.

http://www.flawsophy.net/2012/05/all-life-is-shopping.html

Also technically, as @smanu points out with A U A' is not a universal set. It's not like Hinduism has no doctrine. I think compassion and basic dignity towards humans are among the prized values in all the texts (and in all other religions too). You will just not find a text that can justify murder, theft or why Salman Khan still gets to make movies. So, it's not like it has EVERYTHING. There are things that are a universal NO that we as a society can argue and agree upon. (That is my Via Negativa principle)

I would also try to differentiate between what scripture says and what society does. If a society screwed up (evils of caste, sacrificial offerings at the altar etc. ), I find it a cop out to blame scriptures or religions all the time (sometimes is surely OK). It could be attributed to misinterpreting the essence of them. And that is completely the fault of lesser, everyday, roadside humans and not the wise people who gave us the wisdom (@smanu's point again!).

smanu said...

Lol @ "why Salman Khan still gets to make movies" Can't stop laughing!

But seriously! He makes movies coz he has ppl to watch - I'm reminded of those die-hard fans in Delhi and their suggestion to me "Dil se dekhna didi!", my answer being "Kiske Dil? Aapke dil?" The place-effect I guess, Hyderabad does not have as many fans, let alone die-hard fans!

Twilight Musings said...

@Char pics

"
Religious fanatics are there in all religions.Hindus in urban areas are generaly less religious these days. Thats because of lack of time. Infact every religion it is reducing.If you could evaluate urban devotionall index in all cities ,I m sure you would find it on declining side ..haha

Hindus are no higher mortals dude !?"


Hindus are higher mortals compared to others and not so much compared to some others. It is simply a spectrum with variable proportion of fanatics. X_1 religion kills 1000 people in name of fundamentalism, X_2 - 500,...Hinduism - 100..etc and so on annually. Nobody can claim any moral superiority regarding that part.

Also, dude you need to get out and look at the world more if you think "every religion is reducing". Look up Boston bombing as a start...what happened to "urban devotional index" of Tsarnaevs? Or Boston is some superstitious rural backwater where hijab-wearing is norm? May be while you are at it, look at what Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is funding with their oil money or how much evangelical church spends on missionaries.

Follow the money.

Objectively, Karimnagar person is much better at killing his own son than killing a bunch of other people, and better than anti-vaxxers having "chicken-pox" parties (Seriously, there are people who make their children suck on lollipops with chicken-pox virus...they don't need religion for that). He ranks about the same as parents killing their own daughters for eloping.

Humans can come up with some crazy shit without needing ANY organized religion. I don't know what's your pick with Hinduism in specific.

char pics said...

@smanu :

"Nobody here has actually said that Hindus are higher mortals! " - Twilight musings did :-P

And also liking hinduism because it is one of the oldest religions and inherently great is like saying tendulkar is the best batsman looking at his records without actually watching his batting.
Sure,tendulkar is great.But if you look at scores even dhoni has high figures and everyone
knows his "talent".

A U A' :
You are correct. It may not be universal. However my stress was on universality (which is wrong I realised now) and also the approval of opposite points of view. Like hinduism talking
and approving atheism sounds totally ridiculous to me. I am an atheist but technically i am
hindu too. This is exactly why i said political reasons.

See we all know beef eating was there before and cow sacrifice is the reason why the working
class ( todays vysyas,obc erc) were severely discontent with the brahmin idealogy of these
rituals (animal sacrifice reckelssly).Because that is what they live upon (All this started around 900 BC till the 1st century AD when buddhism rose significantly).But fearing the extinction of hinduism( read brahmin hegemony) they changed their attitude towards animal killing to please people who liked buddhist idealogy. Just like this,many things were amended.
So if you think ancient brahmins were kindhearted and very democratic, I see its dumb.
See everybody in india hated indira gandhi during emergency.Now in AP and all indiramma is already a reverent figure. 100 yrs down the line everyone popular today is respected JUST because they are ancient. Lets call spade a spade. sash was talking about the pluralist nature of ancient society.
Everything was written by brahmins,for brahmins in ancient times.Nothing pluralist.
Everything they did is not to include people ,but to continue their oppression and they did.
BUt as sash said its like shopping. We can choose whatever we want .
I wont buy nike shoes if i came to know that children were tortured to manufacture them. (like given meagre food,no money,worked extra time everyday etc). But if you like the shoes and were thinking shelterless children were given employment too,hence I will buy it. Go ahead! For me hinduism=oppression.



"Let's not really use specific exceptions to disprove any axiom/religion" -
I already said every religion has fanatics. I did not single out hinduism. Infact if
you see ,in the world, %ge of fanatics is far lesser than normal people.Hence it can be assumed all religions by and large got their fanatics who has their interpretations wrong
and not the religion is at fault.

char pics said...

@Twilight musings :
see fanatism is a relative concept.For you kiling=fanatism.
For an atheist like me anything from idol worship to circumambulating the temple to
celebrating festivals everyday citing reasons like a particular
sidecharecter in mahabharat farted on a particular day ...everything is fanatism.
So my definition of fanatism,hindus are not higer mortals ;-)

Boston example is an abberation.Generaly educated people in cities are slowly becoming
rational.Worlds third largest religion after christianity and islam is atheism .Slowly
it will become number one and only one :-)

Twilight Musings said...

@char pics,
Perhaps you have to re-calibrate your idea of fanaticism, otherwise you idea will end up as one. :)

We can keep our own definitions for everything, but the relative concepts like "extremism" (e.g.,extreme with respect to what?) depend on "what majority thinks".

Even by your definition, hindus are higher mortals compared to "atheists" who celebrate which of their favourite basket ball team won a few games with another local city. An ancestor's fart (who knows which part of their DNA is in yours?) is much better to celebrate than a stranger's bad day (the opposing team). Nothing is too little to celebrate and nobody can escape superstition for humans. (Ever looked up "Graceland"?)

Perhaps, on this note, I hope you are against any celebrations of "independence day" or "national day" or acknowledging birthdays of influential people or winning some war too. May be when people wish you "happy birthday", you scowl and say it is fanaticism to acknowledge an irrelevant human's arrival? :)

If you are under the impression that somehow atheism becomes "number one" you might look at a fellow atheist writings on human brain wiring.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/09/atheism-as-mental-deviance/


LOL @ "Generaly educated people in cities are slowly becoming rational"
You haven't looked up education qualifications of terrorists, have you? :)
Rich people become 'rational' since they don't need any entity to rescue their dismal life. Do yourself a favour and google relationship between prosperity and rationality. Even then, we have Newton (yeah, the great scientist guy again). :)

Twilight Musings said...

@Flawsophy

I don't know how you feel about the public knowledge of your carefree life, but sorry to hear this came true:

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1582

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1561

Sash! said...

@twilight: Again, didn't get the reference on "how you feel about the public knowledge of your carefree life" ...

but BINGO on the comics, it's a near-massacre all around :)

char pics said...

@twilight musings :

i said "celebrating everyday "...and "generaly educated people..."....which part of everyday and generally you did not get, i dont understand.


I am not under any impression ,i am just hopeful looking at the developments over last two centuries in world. ( advent of english education in india etc..)

Sash! said...

@char pics: A little word for you, my man.

They will all disappoint you ... sooner or later ... they all will. Its Hinduism today, it will be democracy tomorrow, it will be atheism the day after tomorrow and the next week, it'd be "growth and prosperity" as Forbes magazine defines it ... all of those rosy pictures will all crumble ... it's gonna happen ... attaching ourselves to any demographic or having blind faith in ideas put forth by institutions will always leave us with a lingering suspicion that something is always missing ...

Any collection of humans is fundamentally incapable of humanity and there is no point having a problem with actual human beings for the sake of what a group of people gathered together for a mission had to say.

The only way out? Everyone of them is partially right. ( Naturally, I find this very irritating. That I have to say they are sometimes right when I KNOW for a fact that they are sometimes wrong. But, what to do ? :P). May be, we look at their correct points and make our own unique individual composite picture. At least, we gotta try ... gotta fail trying or whatever

...any hoo ... :)

Twilight Musings said...

@char pics,
Your "generally" and "every day" are restricted to some region over a fixed time frame.

If you consider entire earth, "generally educated people" are no better. Every human carries around some irrational and contradictory ideas. Also, you think "everyday" is some fanaticism, follow twitter of "Justin Bieber". :) That is some 24/7 dedication man..


You are just "hopeful" without looking up any mechanism of how human brain works and industrial revolution of 200 years is enough evidence against thousands of years of stability of religion? So, your "superstition" is in human rationality then. :)

Here's a data point:
46% of "english educated" US population believes "God made humans in their current form in the last 10,000 years". Bascially, they don't believe in evolution.
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/frontal-cortex/2012/06/brain-experiments-why-we-dont-believe-science.html

Anyhow, I will stop flogging this dead horse now....

smanu said...

@char pics: I have followed all the comments and I only have this thing to say - Every statement can always be counteracted through an example serving as an anti-statement. If one's line of argument is just to counteract, oppose and offend, then God save such a discussion coz the inferences and results out of such a discussion would be zero. I luckily still have an inference here - anti-matter exists for all kinds of matter, anti-particles exist for all kind of particles - as harsh as it might sound given the whole backdrop of the discussion.

char pics said...

@ sash :
saami sikharam !

@smanu : i am not here to make anti statements.My 1st and last comment are just the same if you observe. I said opposite points( like dvaita vs advaita etc) were included.
In the same comment i explained the reason that they were written from 1500bc to 1100 AD !
Although people here stil say i thought only one person drank soma ,sat and wrote.
Many political factors like increasing hindus population were the reasons for that i said.
My last comment says just the same. NO anti statemnts are made by me u c.My posting
comment here was expecting a discussion on whether we should approve something written
for their greed to continuew power.BUt the dicussion was eventually was on
"whether we should approve something written" (the greed for power part of the parasitic brahmins is gone)

@twilight musings : You bring theories like spectrum of killings to decide whether someone is higher mortal or not. First of all even if you kill one person in the name of religion ,you long lost the right to call yourself higher mortal. 500<1000, hence hindus are higher mortals is a joke. Infact smanu agreed with this,which is why he said "nobody here said hindus are higher mortals" because 500<1000 is such a shitty concept.

Any person with common sense will discard shit but you want sit and filter it !(regarding
shit filtering process)

"Objectively, Karimnagar person is much better at killing his own son .." one more epic concept !

If you came to conclusion that horse is dead because I chose not respond on"ancestors fart " (i have no issues if they did fart infact. i was pointing at people like you celebrating it.I have never thought of my ancestors as they might not have farted at all in their lives. Farting is yur fundamental right ( art 21)..haha :-D)
and "irrevelant human arrival" definetely the horse is dead in english.
I cant get down to that level in english. Telugu is my forte on that. It will be fun.
Give me your id. We can chat there in telugu in your favorite tone. I am a total
bond in it :-) English mei tho sorry rahega ! Pu.pa \m/
( afteral this is a public forum)


Sash! said...

@char pics:

FUN FACT: Dvaitha is not the opposite of Advaita and in fact, they speak about completely different things and one can argue that they are indeed compatible with each other. Look it up.

Dwaitha speaks of the irreconcilable differences between jeevatmas (souls of the living things) and paramatmas (The divine soul) and hence the dualism !!! Where as Advaitha talks on a plane of completely distinct abstraction about the equivalence of Atman and Brahman and how Atman = Brahman = pure consciousness and hence, no difference, therefore, non-dualism.

I know it's heavy stuff and I don't understand them myself but suffices to say that dwaita speaks of dualism between entities A & B and advaita speaks of non-dualism or equivalence between different entities C & D. Clearly, whoever named them to be seemingly opposite just did so to screw with our heads and they are getting their money's worth :)

char pics said...

@sash said

Okok...see AUA' becomes a bigger set than A atleast.Anyway if you are interested watch this debate..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07J88zHnfSw

Andulo 17.00 to 22:00 pretty much summary of what i am trying to tell. I searched on net only to find these.Will give you more links this time.

See political ga vaalla power penchukovataniki 3milleniums ninchi even today hindus are continuing their fight. You say it is inclusive of everyone's opinion.It never was. Totally ruled by meagre 1/4th ppl ( atmost) from upper castes.

Hinduism as a religion from ancient times if you see ...it can be said to have two parts like in a company front end( marketing ,financing etc mba guys) and backend( research phD guys)...front end here is the brahmans in towns...backend is those guys who went to forests and did tapassu and wrote aranyakas etc). These front end brahmins cleverly used the idealogy ,philosophy,knowledge of back end guys and made the whole society puppets in their hands while themselves eating like parasites the whole society's efforts.Infact these backend guys wrote all great things like"vaada prathivaadana" etc before you form a consensus etc.But who is taught those vedas and who has this right? the brahmins again.

Now what is my problem if this happened in ancient times?

The politics to increase their numbers is still on.They are imposing their identity of hindus on obcs,sc,st because without them this land cant be called hindu nation(population thakkuva kada OCs dhi)...They are distorting the history to their favour.Unlike other subjects history is a public property and very handy to polarise society in whichever way you want.First thing BJP did after coming to power in 1998 is change NCERTs.Now once backwrd classes accept to be hindus Just like in past they are never given social status,priesthood,etc...this has already proved lethal...Things as worse as breast tax were imposed on these people at one point...Well this topic goes on and on...

What is my point? As rational people should we approve this inherently skewed religion who cant treat anyone equally? ( You may say backend guys are innocent..then all i have got to say is that nike shoes example..)The inclusiveness, religious tolerance,etc is all drama. If you see they did a lot to appease buddhists. Finally they made buddha as an avatar of vishnu by 11th century AD. Bring everything into its fold ultimately is the agenda..then ,now,in future )There are many more which i think i should put it on a blog instead of randomly putting in comments...niku link ista kavalante..ee discussion ikkaditho samaptham na vaipu ninchi...Kancha iliah's view you may watch in case you dint so far.While criticsing mythology he goes too far.Except that many sensible views on foisting hindu's idea of india on others !

Twilight Musings said...

@Char pics
No problem if you have some high ideal of human.

In my view, all humans are shit. Our stomach is literally full of shit. As long as we carry it with us, we can't become some "clean" higher selves.

Same with "killings" or "death" or any human perversion you name it, it is still coming from humans. Religion is also a part of being human. (My first link on brain studies).

You can rant on one religion or any religion or all religions, but you can't escape human tendency to believe in shit. You can rant about power structure, but all large societies have powerful exploiting powerless.

I see no point in further discussion because there is nothing we can learn from each other. That is why, "stop flogging the dead horse" (= there is no point in saying any more). It doesn't mean I am equating YOU to horse.

Sorry if you misunderstood, it was meant to be in humour to point out celebrating "Krishna astami" or "Gandhi Jayanthi" or "birthday" are equivalent. If you are against the first one, are you against the second and third ones?

But, I am no longer interested in what you want to say. I apologize if anything came across offensive to you.

Twilight Musings said...

@Char pics,

May be this clarifies things further:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flogging_a_dead_horse

"Flogging a dead horse (alternatively beating a dead horse, or beating a dead dog in some parts of the Anglophone world) is an idiom that means a particular request or line of conversation is already foreclosed or otherwise resolved, and any attempt to continue it is futile; or that to continue in any endeavour (physical, mental, etc.) is a waste of time as the outcome is already decided."

Sash! said...

@ char pics: You seem to have a problem with one particular demographic and one particular religion. That is very suspicious behaviour and you probably have a political agenda of your own. I wish you all the luck with that.

But, please don't go around disparaging the scriptures if you have a problem with political actions of certain people who identify with them. Settle those with them man-2-man, not man-2-scripture nor scripture-2-scripture.

The scriptures are honest in their intentions and a lot of people find immense solace in reading and understanding them.

Peace out.

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