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Ball of karma

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8337182.stm

That’s a 101kg ball of karma right there!

*sigh*… the things that people do for achieving their 1 page of fame.

Categories: Atrocity, Vegetarianism
  1. November 2, 2009 at 11:39 PM

    Yes, very sorry indeed.😦

    I’m alive. I didn’t go into the making of that ball!

  2. November 21, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    What is wrong about it?
    Anyways it did go to a good cause:
    //Mr Mitnitsky’s record-breaking meatball was later donated to the Friendly Kitchen in Concord to feed the hungry.

    Also, myself a vegetarian, I recently discovered Maneka Gandhi is a fool. She preaches that adults do not need milk. For her mumbling majesty’s kind information, milk is the only source of B12 Vitamin for those who do not eat meat/fish/eggs. Plant sources cannot provide vitamin B12 to humans

    Yes I suffered from B12 deficiency. Its true that I have been taking very little milk in past 2 years. Though not due to urging by Maneka Gandhi.

  3. November 21, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    As far as I know, laws of karma take in to account the intent too. The actual intent was to get some stupid record… and hence the bad karma.

    Milk doesn’t fall in the category as non-vegetarian… many people will say it is not vegetarian either.

    I tend to go with the fact that we don’t ‘kill’ any living thing for the milk.

  4. November 23, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    You eat wheat right? Or maybe more of rice if you are from south. And of course, lentils. And yeah not to forget vegetables! Just look how many seeds a tomato has!
    Well, each grain, if you hadn’t gobbled it up, could have become a whole new plant!

    Thus when non vegetarians kill one chicken/pig/goat/whatever, at east two or more people eat by killing one living being. But when one vegetarians sits for a meal, he kills at least a few hundred lives!!!!

    Its not even normal killing, its like child killing, infanticide or foeticide. Those poor little things hadn’t even begun a proper life yet and along came Ambi and…Ouch! What about your bad karma in that?

    Its food chain and food pyramid buddy! Anyways, people make records for big dosai, big puri, big roti, big pizza, etc. This is just like that! (They killed so many poor little seeds in the process! Oh my!)

    P.S.:
    1) I am a vegetarian.
    2) ‘Karma’ is junk. Otherwise a wonderful soul like me would have been having time of my life right now😛

  5. November 24, 2009 at 12:15 AM

    Hey, BTW, can bad ‘karma’ of Indians be responsible for poor record of scientific inventions. After all we drove those poor British rulers away isn’t it? We deprived them of their free plundering. Such ‘paapi’ people we are aren’t we😉

    ‘Karma’, ‘Paap’, all LOL stuff! Anyways I don’t need such concepts to be good. Its quite natural even without.

    • November 24, 2009 at 10:45 AM

      Since you state that you don’t need such stuff to be ‘Good’, what standard do you follow? Or are you one of those people who believe in moral relativism?

  6. November 24, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    Even if we go by your logic (which I don’t agree fully, but not going to get in to a debate on this), the conclusion is wrong. For every kilogram of goat or chicken or whatever meat, the animal has to be fed fodder that is several times its weight (which again comes as plants, seeds what not). So, sum it up, hmm?

    “Karma is junk…”, “‘Karma’, ‘Paap’, all LOL stuff! Anyways I don’t need such concepts to be good. Its quite natural even without.”

    You have every right to have your ‘opinion’.

    It is childish to consider that our actions will not be met with any kind of reaction. Modern science says it is one of Newton’s laws, and applicable only to gross matter. The Vedas (and many ancient texts all over the world) term it as Karma and applicable to subtle matter too.

    Again, this is the beauty of perspective. How do you define or know what is good?

  7. December 6, 2009 at 1:10 AM

    //For every kilogram of goat or chicken or whatever meat, the animal has to be fed fodder that is several times its weight (which again comes as plants, seeds what not). So, sum it up, hmm?

    Its a scientific argument that a non veg person would need to be supported by a larger ‘base’ of the food pyramid. So if all humans were vegetarian, maybe more humans would be supported by the present plant world than currently possible.

    I hope your statement was something to that effect. Though another way I thought I could interpret it was, as more seeds etc were consumed to feed the animals/birds and then finally the humans, non veg person has a cumulative ‘bad karma’! If so, Let me know. I have more to say!😉

    Of course this also funnily reminds me of the true and scientific problem of bio-magnification of non water-soluble pollutants in food as we move higher up the food chain!

  8. December 6, 2009 at 1:13 AM

    Of course, I do doubt even ‘reduce the base of food pyramid by turning vegetarian’ theory as being the perfect. eg. many herbivore consume grass and such celluose rich stuff. They can digest cellulose. We cant. So in absence of herbivores in our food chain, those huge bases of the food pyramid would be out of reach for us.

  9. December 6, 2009 at 1:16 AM

    (I meant “I doubt even ‘support larger populations by reducing the base of food pyramid by turning vegetarian’ theory)

  10. December 6, 2009 at 2:44 AM

    BTW as I said, I am vegetarian. Although if needed for survival (eg health reasons or in the wild when other food is not readily available or maybe in a place where balanced veg diet is really not available.)

    There are many good reasons to be vegetarian I guess:

    1) We heard of bird flu and swine flu, but no cabbage flu yet😉 Which basically indicates that as plants are genetically distant from us than birds and animals, we are not likely to contract a plant disease virus/microorganism (which do exist).
    2) Biomagnification like I said earier.
    3) Kidney patients are advised to switch to plant proteins from animal proteins. So I guess plant proteins must be easier on the kidneys?
    4) few more which I must’ve thought at one time or other but can’t remember now.

    Its just that when you bring ‘karma’ to justify vegetarianism, and especially to condemn someone making a record I found it highly entertaining.

    If that person had not made that big meatball, the same meat would have eventually gone in making of smaller meatballs. So by making a big meatball I guess same amount of bad karma will be gathered as by same weight of smaller meatballs.

    Now lets consider the Week the Big Meatball (WBM) was made and eaten up. And a typical week (TW) when the BM was not yet made/got over already.

    Say during a TW, paying consumers in that city demand M1 weight of meat. To supply that, the butcher earns BK1 units of bad karma (inclusive of the killing of plants seeds and other lower levels of the meatball foodchain).

    Say the weight of Big Meatball (BM) is M2 kg. To supply that, the butcher earns BK2 units of bad karma. At the same time, the regular customers demanded their M1 kg of meat. So total meat consumed is M1 + M2 in the big meatball week. So yes, the related bad karma is now BK1 + BK2 instead of just BK1.Thus an increase over regular bad karma, as you would sadly (in principle) and happily (its your side of the argument😉 ) notice.

    But then again the big meatball went to the needy, so thats good karma, feeding those who would have otherwise been starved perhaps. (This IS good karma you agree right? right?). Lets say this good karma amount is GK3. Its equal and opposite to bad karma BK3.

    So regualar week bad karma in the city = BK1
    Big Meatball Week bad karma in the city = BK1 + (BK2 + GK3) = BK1 + (BK2 – BK3)

    So whether the bad karma increased or decreased depends on whether BK2 is more or BK3!

    How will you quantify? is bad karma proportional linearly to meat weight? Is it proprotional to square of weight? Or even higher power? Or is does meat weight form the exponent (power) in exponential equatio? etc options? Or does it also depend upon the intention behind using the meat? Then again how do we get GK3? Does it depend on weight of meat donated? Is it more if the meat is distributed amongst less people making less people one MORE satisfied? Or more if distributed amongst more people, making MORE people satisfied, but to lesser extent?

    Then again, if we do not bother about the donation and overall city karma dynamics but consider only the single paapi butcher/cook involved, I see it something like this:

    Butcher usually earns a regular BKb1 bad karma amount by selling Mb1 kg meatballs in a day (b for butcher as opposed to earlier for city.)
    On the day of big meatball making, his regular business was closed. so he did not get BKb1 bad karma that day. Only bad karma BKb2 for the big meatball.

    Now depending upon relative values of Bkb1 and BKb2, its possible that making the record meatball earned him less bad karma than regular days! So it was a win-win situation! Reduce bad karma earning rate for a day as well as earn fame!!! Wow!

    In fact whether on regular days the butcher commits overall paap or punya also needs similar quantification to decide. The bad karma or paap would be for killing the creatures. But before that he or other human reared it too. So that should be good karma. Without being reared by humans, so many pigs, chicken etc could not have been alive today in such large quantities on Earth today. Also add to this good karma of feeding humans.

    Now how are we going to decide specific quantities of BK1, BK2, BK3, BKb1, BKb2 in the above scenarios(and the verbally defined quantities of the third example)? What will they be a function of? Meat weight? Number of peope fed? Intent and ‘quantity of cruel corrupt thoughts’ behind the action? Even if we decide the parameters, how are you going to devise a formula of all these parameters? What will be the basis of that formula?

    If you can’t really define these, please don’t even venture to bring in Newton Uncle and other such uncle aunties in all this!!😛😛😛.

    Further, Newtonian mechanics has been proven to be wrong already. So does that simultaneously make the karma theory all bunk?

    Again, if you do quantify these values, if there is not a very real and definite basis of doing so, different people can assign different ad hoc values to the BK variables above. Based on that it could turn out the butcher / city earned good karma by making the record rather than bad (like I expained). So I guess that would rather make your morality principle all ‘relative’😛

    BTW I don’t know what you mean by ‘moral relativism’. Nice term. I read it first time few weeks back on another blog. But I don’t bother to delve much into such terms or articles (whether the artcle takes pro view or con). Your post being so small and that too with a link which finally makes the meaning clear, by the time I realized what it was all about I had aready read it! So I had already ‘delved into it’ and couldn’t help commenting.

    —————-
    Just a side thought: What did Rama eat during his vanvaas? Or for that matter, the Pandavas? Surely they didn’t start agriculture in the jungle? (In case they did, I would be glad to know, but with basis.) And eating whatever fruits and roots they found in jungle wouldn’t have met their daily protein needs (and maybe many micronutrients too :P)

    And even if they did mainly subsist on agriculture, where did Rama’s morality go when he went to hunt for that golden deer just cause his wife coveted it? It wasn’t for basic unavoidable food need or for record breaking (followed by donation the needy). Just to please a woman’s whim! Couldn’t Purushottam Ram have more ‘morals’?

    • December 6, 2009 at 9:27 AM

      Sd, I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding here.

      In the first place, your assertion that I am trying to justify vegetarianism based on karma is wrong. And give no other choice, I would eat a lizard if it comes to survival.

      So, no… I am not the brand of folks who think being vegetarian is some cool fad or who thinks it is some superior platform.

      Regarding all that calculations you have done with ‘deep’ analysis… mostly unnecessary. You are trying to use gross physical laws to explain subtle phenomena.

      My standpoint is this: when you can live off a vegetarian diet, why unnecessarily kill animals for food? Even if one had to live off flesh, I would accept it if they were nomads in the desert or on the arctic ice. In this age of round the season availability of grains, milk, nuts and what not, maintaining automated slaughter houses is overkill.

      I have to get in to deep philosophy for explaining these things but I don’t think its going to be useful for you in any case.

      You don’t know ‘moral relativism’? Whoa…

  11. December 6, 2009 at 2:45 AM

    *Maryada-Purushottam Ram

  12. December 6, 2009 at 4:52 PM

    Well, this is a weird discussion. Weird ‘cuz two avowed (as far as I practically see) vegetarians are debating why vegetarianism is good/bad!

    And I’m only going to make it weirder by joining this discussion (though looks like Ambi has already left the discussion), ‘cuz I too am a vegetarian!

    I’ve thought a lot about morality of veg v/s nonveg, and realized that however much one debates none of the two sides can win comprehensively. Eventally whatever people decide is based on their personal sensibilities, but still everyone likes to justify whatever is their personal whim.

    I’ll add my take on this (and I’m weird, I know, so please don’t just repeat in your response to rub it in!):

    Sometime 5 years back, I told myself plants and animals are made of the same basic atoms and even more same basic subatomic particles. So, I shouldn’t mind ingesting something that was an animal before being oxidized (cooked). But there was also the moral dilemma involved – it was wrong to make another organism experience pain and also make its mother aggrieved by making her part with her young ones (both of which plants do not suffer from; plants do not have nervous systems to ‘experience’ pain).

    So I wanted to test my intellectual honesty through this test. I had to taste nonveg if I was being truly intellectually honest with myself.

    So my solution was very simple – to pick up a a chunk of nonveg out of my friend’s plate and chew and swallow it. It ensured that no additional animal was killed ‘cuz of my act….

  13. December 6, 2009 at 4:53 PM

    …’Cuz the animal was already killed, sold in the market and cooked. And the quantity I tasted was so less that my friend did not order another plate. Also, the restaurant owner did not feel that I had become a huge fan of nonveg, so there was no ‘perceived’ demand for killing more animals.

    And I kept on repeating this act ‘cuz I could never become comfortable with the idea of eating nonveg. Plus, I was curious of the ‘taste of every animal’!! Okay, this must already sound very barbaric. But as I said, at each point I had ensured that not a single additional animal would be killed ‘cuz of me.

    Morality and ‘karma’-wise, I believe, I didn’t do anything wrong.

    But yet I felt sickened by whatever I was trying.

    I haven’t tried anything nonveg in last 3 years.

    My distaste for nonveg is very visceral.

    But let me still try to reason out for that visceral reaction:

    1. I guess there’s a huge psychological barrier that people born in vegetarian families need to breach before comfortably enjoying nonveg. The basic idea that what is placed on my spoon/fork was an animal (and hence inedible) v/s a plant (plants are meant to be eaten) is very difficult to get out of our mind.

    2. Animals upon dying change their form a lot, and react very violently during the process of dying. But plants hardly change. Also they don’t shout and cry, neither do their mothers feel saddened at the loss of their young ones….

  14. December 6, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    …So in my opinion, to kill an animal one has to summon much greater cruelty than simply plucking away a fruit off a plant. And I find cruelty distasteful. Because I personally would not like to be subjected to cruelty. Here, one of the most contentious points of a lot of debated issues arises – are animals to be placed at the SAME pedestal as humans with regard to application of moral principles, or somehow humans should get a greater precedence (‘higher rank’)? And answer to this simple point (if conclusively reached) will determine ethicality v/s unethicality of many things like animal experiments or something as simple as using an insecticide or a mosquito screen.

    3. The very act of eating nonveg looks very unhygienic and barbaric.

    Remember, all the above are my own psychological, visceral reasons to not eat nonveg. I cannot use any of the points above to ask someone else to stop eating nonveg on that basis. But the more important implication of this is: in absolute terms we cannot state if eating nonveg v/s veg (when both are available) is wrong.

    Of course, this conclusion is pending the answer to the question – are same moral principles to be applied to animals as humans OR humans’ welfare gets precedence when it comes to moral principles?

  15. December 6, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    …I guess, the INSTINCTIVE response of all the three in this debate, as well as many others would that yes, animals must get equal status as us, humans.

    But only on thinking a bit further, one would realize how much have we deviated from this principle in our daily lives.

    If we decide, that yes, animals get the same status, then many questions arise:

    1. Which animals? Meaning only the multicellular organisms or unicellular ones, too? Even if we say only multicellular, then we must stop killing mosquitoes or we should stop covering our food ‘cuz otherwise, a few houseflies would die of starvation! If we’re to include also unicellular organisms, then our problems become even bigger and funnier. We must instantly stop manufacturing antibiotics and vaccines, ‘cuz they eventually kill many unicellular organisms! Also, then the issue Stupidosaur raised earlier is very important – how do we quantify the value of life? If it is terms of NUMBER of organisms or their MEASURED WEIGHT? Then another question needs to be answered – is it only the life v/s death of an organism that should be considered or the sophistication of life form (whether less evolved or more evolved) that must also be considered? If it is the number of organisms, then to remain moral, we must all immediately commit suicide (really). ‘Cuz each time we eat food, irrespective of whether it is plant or animal source millions of bacteria are killed by a single organism’s digestive system (30% of the dry weight of our stools is bacteria!)….

  16. December 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    …Then, one more very difficult-to-answer-question – why not then include plants under the purview of morality?

    One simply can’t answer this? If we start including plants too, then definitely instantly we must commit suicide to save ourselves from committing immorality. So according to me, putting animals on the same pedestal as humans when talking of morality has its own moral/ethical traps.

    There’s the other option – yes, that somehow humans take precedence in deciding upon moral issues. If someone asks me why? I’d say it is a very sophisticated form of herd-mentality. That I feel greater solidarity for those who resemble me, then those who do not (this line of argument is extremely risk-fraught when it comes to interhuman interactions, I know!)! And animals have never really cared for us humans, or for each other (sounds stupid, but is true ‘cuz only sometime back, we were talking of putting animals on same pedestal as humans). They have killed us humans for their food or to protect their shelter. So we can do the same to fulfill our ‘needs’. ‘Needs’ is another contentious term. Is the desire to live a fulfilling, happy life a ‘need’? Is the desire to not see one of our relatives not die of AIDS/cancer/malaria – a need? Is the desire to not suffer from painful rheumatoid arthritis and debilitating kidney disorders and diabetes – a need? Is the desire to not suffer from irritating common cold – a need? Pleases see, in all the 3 examples, there’s a gradual downscaling of threat to human life…

  17. December 6, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    …While very few would disagree that we would be alright with killing of a few thousand animals, if the outcome (cure) for the said disease is able to save millions of human lives. The problem comes when discussing animal experiments for treatment of ‘simpler’ disorders, which are not immediately life-threatening. But then the question would arise what ‘level’ of threat to human life do we use to justify animal experiments?

    Okay, I know I’ve blabbered a lot. What I wanted to demonstrate through all this is – that morality is indeed very complex. And eventually, a lot of decisions we take are visceral, instinctive and would not be able to stand moral/rational scrutiny. What is common to almost ANY moral decision we take to adjudicate one thing as more moral than other is one thing – ARBITRARY INDIVIDUALIZED DISCRETION.

    And it is this discretion that Ambi is calling as ‘moral relativism’. Am I right, Ambi?

    So obviously, from all this it looks like relativism is unreliable when it comes to taking decisions on morality.

    But unfortunately, though you had commented on my post with a “*sigh*” at dogmatic Christians saying only Christians can be moral, you had not read another article that so very well demonstrated that it is rather scripture-based morality that is more relative. Why? ‘Cuz if it’s not relative, you’ll have to answer many questions. Why one scripture over the other? As it is, different scriptured within the same religion call different things as moral….

  18. December 6, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    …Forget about scriptures from different religions.

    Then, what would you do when a situation comes up where your chosen scripture for ‘ABSOLUTE’ morality wouldn’t have flow chart for what decision to take? A question I had asked Karla, and put forth to you, too is – is it right to inject a vaccine into a child despite the fact that the child cries ‘cuz of pain while being poked with that injection? So ultimately, it is scripture based morality that is more relative, ‘cuz ultimately, it is only the transmitted relative morality of one writing it! With one huge difference – you can never question the scripture ‘cuz one writing it would be long dead. And that’s what gives us the excuse to exercise our intellectual laziness: “Why should I think; if it’s written by people born before me, it’s got to be right.”

    What you (presumably, disdainfully) dismiss as relative morality, is actually more absolute, why? ‘Cuz at least there a few fundamental ‘moral axioms’ from which this whole logic/philosophy/rationality-based morality begins. Though it is not perfect and the axioms are not reached through perfect consensus, it at least provides us a framework withing which to base our moral decisions. But the best part is – it is open to well-meaning questioning.

    Let me tell you of a few fundamental ‘moral axioms’ (I’ll restrict this currently only to humans ‘cuz as I demonstrated above, involving animals makes things more complicated):

    1. Every human is equal and has equal rights at birth.

  19. December 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    …2. Every human has an equal right to live. And fulfilling this desire to be happy is one of the fundamental goals.

    3. Every human has an equal right to avoid pain. And fulfilling this desire to be avoid pain is one of the fundamental goals.

    4. A decision should be reached such that as far as possible, none of the above principles are violated.

    The above are the ‘absolutes’ of what you call moral relativism. A lot many moral decisions in life can be reached by simply taking into consideration the above principles, irrespective of whether they are backed by an authority (like scripture or law of the land) to make them any more absolute or not. Of course, there would still be contentious areas.

    But ‘ABSOLUTENESS’ in morality as enforced by scriptures/law is purely arbitrary and does not provide genuine solutions ‘cuz as I pointed out before it would fundamentally also be, individual discretionary morality imposed upon many. That’s all!

    One last point.

    Depending upon how you look at it, drinking milk and making ghee out of that milk is not moral ‘cuz that milk is fundamentally belongs to the calf of the animal, and we do not ask the calf for permission and of course, calf suffers from malnutrition many times for our ‘pleasure’ (read using in food or pleasing gods through religious rites).

    Interesting discussion, this was! TC.

    PS: I guess, a lot of ‘Ambi’guity could be removed if Ambi simply explains what had he meant by ‘karma’ in “big ball of karma”.

  20. December 6, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    One more *sigh*…

    1. Every human is equal and has equal rights at birth.

    Even for an axiom, this couldn’t be more wrong. You can assume it is so… but welcome to the real world.

    ““Why should I think; if it’s written by people born before me, it’s got to be right.”

    Again, assumption. This very same statement can now be applied to Einstein and Darwin and such too, no? If you did take time to read through the writings of the Acharyas of the past, you will see the intellectual capability, analytical skills and intelligence they possessed. Here is something for you to consider:

    A true scientist would never prematurely declare, “I do not believe that I have a soul or spirit to survive my death.” Rather, he would enthusiastically embrace a standard technique accepted by respected and recognized men of spiritual science. Such a scientist and sincere seeker of truth would then, in the interests of science, submit himself to that process and make himself the object of experimentation. Only after he had perfectly applied all the practices and techniques to himself, under the guidance of an authorized professor of spiritual science, would he dare make judgmental remarks about the subject in question. Theory, observation and experimentation are the true methods of science, and they apply equally to spiritual science… which to me is a pretty ‘rational’ method.

    Ketan, your outlook on scriptures and religion, and God, are so different that my efforts to explain everything over this medium is not an efficient use of my time nor yours.

  21. December 8, 2009 at 1:42 AM

    This comment I left halfway yesterday…
    “The discussion is not about vegetarianism. Its about absurdity of the main post, regarding “101kg ball of bad ‘Karma'”. Vegetarianism just came in as it is related.

    So yeah, these are the rules it seems, you are alowed to quote 101kg and Newton’s laws when it suits you. When I consider it the same way, in a systematic logical fashion show its absurdity, you want to conveniently escape:”

    After that I left. Today luckily, before I started commenting I did a refresh and and saw Ketan’s (as expected🙂 ) long deep elaborate comment, and Ambi’s response (to me as well as Ketan) which can be summed up as “Arrrggghh! Fly you fools!”

    So I guess further discussion from my side is moot.

    But I can’t resist saying this…

    Well Ambi, Ketan dived into subject of animal rights in general, and also skimmed the the surface of ‘use of animals for science’ and whether that itself is right or wrong. I guess PETA and many such organisations cry foul over such (and any other) use of animals. But even many beyond these limited organisations would readily react negatively to ‘use of humans for science’, and thats exactly what you are asking to do !!!!! (Of course final test of medicine over sample human groups does happen, but that (hopefully) always happens with consent of participants, when risks are known, and usually with guarantee and allure of monetary compensation. I personally wouldn’t participate even in such experiment, unless I have some incurable threatening disease, and the medicine trials are my only hit or miss chance of cure/life extension.

    And by the way, who are ‘authorized professors of spiritual “science”‘?
    Who authorizes them? What is the authority of authorizing authority?

    //““Why should I think; if it’s written by people born before me, it’s got to be right.”
    Again, assumption. This very same statement can now be applied to Einstein and Darwin and such too, no?

    Absolutely not!!!
    Scientific theories are always open to scrutiny and peer review, as well as review by subsequent generations. Science doesn’t work on basis of “It IS so cause I SAY SO! Swallow up or choke!” It works on principle of “It is so because thats the way it is! It doesn’t matter whether I say its like this or someone else! Here let me show you why its this way…here is why?”

    And if something doesn’t seem right, or contradicts some future experimental observations, its scrapped! Everybody loooves to prove an old great wrong. But they too cant prove the old ones wrong by “It is so because I SAY SO!!!” It has to be a very strong point who anyone with sufficient depth of thought must be able to grasp. Spinning yarns doesn’t go a long way. Although humans are often wierd and selfish and puny in many ways, so science is also filled with hoaxes and crank theories. But sooner or later intellect sees through them.

    Speaking of Einstein, his relativity theories contradict another theory of his times, quantum mechanics. So although both predict things in their domains (macroscopic phenomenon and subatomic phenomenon respectively) very well, they are still not the final world. Scientists are looking for the ‘general theory of everything’. Just like Einsteins’s special relativity approximates to Newtons laws in domain low velocities (so Newton’s laws proved to be domain restricted approximations) they are hoping this theory would boil down to relativity in domain of large dimensions and to quantum mechanics in the subatomic domain. So yeah, nobody sits worshipping Einstein for ages, only carries the torch forward from him. Einstein too would approve of that. As he himself said, he achieved what he did by standing on the shoulders of past greats. But that doesn’t mean he took their word for ‘The Truth’, he did see how they thought. Thoughts do induce thoughts. But he saw it in an open fresh open perspective. It absolutely does NOT include the capital part of what you quoted:
    “WHY SHOULD I THINK; if it’s written by people born before me, IT’S GOT TO BE RIGHT.”

    Science IS all about thinking!!!! And all about correcting what previous folks did not think right. And that right-wrong is not a matter of personal opinions but concrete observations, assumptions, logic and math. I did say ‘assumptions’. But as soon as those as assumptions do get proven wrong in future, its time to rethink!!!

    I guess you better not try linking any mumbo-jumbo with science once again. Of course I would be glad to correct you if you do link, and really like it when you really present a true scientific, logical argument without mumbo jumbo (like the part of animal having to be fed several times its weight)

    Also, I don’t know whether I missed this part before or commented it:
    Various cattle that people all over the world use as meat, subsists on many grasses/herbs/plants. Nobody goes and feeds them grains that would have a more money rewarding human market. So by eating these, even that enegry from sun and nutrients from earth that would have been out of human being’s food cycle are brought to use.”

    Also, since an egg does not cry out loud, and it itself hasn’t yet consumed any part of its weight in terms of grains etc, would it be ok to eat eggs (just like the wheat, who aren’t born yet, and who haven’t eaten other grains yet, and so you are ok with eating them (with probably less bad karma))

    Do you disagree with Ketan’s basic good

    • December 8, 2009 at 10:14 AM

      “response (to me as well as Ketan) which can be summed up as “Arrrggghh! Fly you fools!””

      Actually, it meant that trying to explain to you people the entire basis of my philosophical convictions by ‘TYPING’ everything here is not a very good use of my time.

      And I did not have any measure connected to mentioning ‘101Kg’ along with bad karma. It was a figurative use… which you have misconstrued as being a measurement of karma and gone in to the looong ‘logical’ analysis, and rattled on about it. So stop being a snob… if you misunderstand my statements, too bad.

      Science IS all about thinking!!!! – I disagree. It is about understanding things AS they ARE or are meant to be… perfectly. I too happen to be accustomed with scientific ‘methodology’, only difference being I have come to sort of understand that what WE do is try to decipher the dynamics of a ‘science’ that is already existing! And in doing so there are people who claim and put forth ‘mumbo-jumbo’ theories as ‘fact’ and ‘science’. THAT is what I have a problem with.

      ““WHY SHOULD I THINK; if it’s written by people born before me, IT’S GOT TO BE RIGHT.” – This statement was from Ketan… and I quoted this in my comment to highlight that it is not my standpoint.

  22. December 8, 2009 at 1:44 AM

    //1. Every human is equal and has equal rights at birth.
    Even for an axiom, this couldn’t be more wrong. You can assume it is so… but welcome to the real world.

    Why are you welcoming us to real world? Real world eats non veg. By ‘spiritual science’ are not all humans equal?

  23. December 8, 2009 at 1:48 AM

    If they are not, I would say spiritual science is monstrous.

    • December 8, 2009 at 10:18 AM

      Again, you are entitled to your opinion. Spiritual science provides equality to not just humans, but to ALL living beings, considering their constitutional position as a spirit soul… but yeah, I already know what you will say to that.

  24. December 8, 2009 at 5:15 AM

    Ambi,

    “Every human is equal and has
    equal rights at birth.”

    “Even for an axiom, this couldn’t be
    more wrong. You can assume it is
    so … but welcome to the real world.”

    Anyway, Stupidosaur has kind of stated what I’d liked to on your issue, just to clarify from my side, I do know to a great exten what ‘real World’ is like, and that’s why I said, “A lot many moral decisions in life CAN be reached by simply taking into consideration the above principles”.

    I never said that they “ARE” being reached.

    And the reason they’re not being reached is because the equal rights with which every human is born are not being respected. Which in turn is because principle number 4., viz., “A decision should be reached such that as far as possible, none of the above principles are violated”, is not being respected.

    The reason why it is not being respected comes as a surprise despite the fact that over 90% of World population and 99% of Indian population follows religion-based ‘MORAL ABSOLUTISM’.

    And you’ve not answered that question on morality of using injection needle to vaccinate a child.

    And I’ve been told before 7th century AD, Brahmins in India used to eat herbivorous animals (like rabbits and deer) despite the adequate availability of food crops. Is this correct?

    Also, I forgot to add, many times even the calf is killed so that its mother would keep on producing milk, but wouldn’t be required to be ‘wasted’ on a calf….

    • December 8, 2009 at 10:29 AM

      “despite the fact that over 90% of World population and 99% of Indian population follows religion-based ‘MORAL ABSOLUTISM’.”

      There is the issue. They don’t!! We won’t be discussing this here if they did properly.

      “And I’ve been told before…… on a calf”

      Can you please provide the reference for these statements?

  25. December 8, 2009 at 5:17 AM

    …Is this moral?

    Also, you’ve jumped to one conclusion. I’ve not mentioned anything about my outlook on scriptures. I’ve simply spoken on blind trust in them.

    Also, one of the reasons I wouldn’t mind accepting what is attributed to Einstein as truth is ‘cuz it has no immediate relevance to my life!! Is this fact so difficult to understand? Einstein hasn’t come and told me what to eat or what not to, or whether to marry one girl or the other or to eat food with right or left hand. If he would start talking of these things, I would question him much more sharply.

    As to Darwin’s survival of the fittest is a concept that proves it so very much day in and day out. Harbhajan Singh would be more successful on slower pitches and Zaheer Khan on faster pitches ‘cuz they respectively suit each other. So, if only faster pitches are prepared, gradually, there’d be fewer spinners in the team. What simpler example shall I give you? Do you want to propose an alternate method to how things work?

    You’re asking me about testing of theories by spiritual scientists.

    I’ll give you a ‘spiritually scientific theory’, and HONESTLY tell me on what grounds do you decide to not perform this experiment?

    Go to the terrace of a building with at least 3 floors, utter ‘tumble, mumble, jumble’ 17 times, run as fast as you could and jump over the fencing. Now I predict, instead of falling down, you’ll be lifted off in the air, and will be gradually brought down by your buoyancy.

    Please don’t think I’m making fun of any scriptures or mythology.

    I want to know that if you decide to not perform this experiment, WHAT would be your reasons to not perform it?

    And well, if you do perform it, I’d be curious of the outcome.😉

    For none of the scriptures have I stated that they’re junk. And if I’d have stated so, then it’d only be after reading about them or learning about them through authorities over them. For instance, I do consider that prominent temple’s priest who had studied vedas for over 5 years as an authority on rigveda….

    • December 8, 2009 at 10:33 AM

      “I’ll give you a ’spiritually scientific theory’, and HONESTLY tell me on what grounds do you decide to not perform this experiment?”

      This is exactly what I said about outlook. You have your own idea on what is spirituality and what it says. And if I were to take it upon myself to change it… I will have to get away from my day work.

      I didn’t meant to be degrading with the comment on outlook. I merely stated it is different… for oh so many reasons you have quoted.

  26. December 8, 2009 at 5:18 AM

    …But where I object to your approach is in emphatically asserting that none of the subsequent generations could produce a better parallel system of knowledge, or build upon it a better one.

    If you remember I’d told Karla that I’d found some of the philosophy of Upanishad appealing. Why would I say that without having tried to understand it? Why would I say that if my outlook of it would be disdainful by default?

    As I’ve repeatedly told you, I’m more bothered by what are the ideas and reasons that are being discussed, and not their source. If I’ve a problem/question in life, it wouldn’t matter if the solution/answer for it comes from vedas or Bible or a scientific journal or from my own thinking and observation.

    The thing is the solution/answer should satisfy my needs the best.

    With regard to your hypothesis of soul, what practical application are you trying to suggest, once I accept the hypothesis?

    I concede that your body has a heart and it pumps blood, and because of it, you live is also a hypothesis. But at least on the basis of this hypothesis, millions of lives are being saved by preventing/treating ‘heart attacks’. This hypothesis has helped up know that using tobacco is bad for health.

    What such benefit does the hypothesis of soul bring?

    If you want me to state it in simple words a lot of debate that has occurred between you and me is between naturalism and supernaturalism. Right? …

    • December 8, 2009 at 11:17 AM

      “But where I object to your approach is in emphatically asserting that none of the subsequent generations could produce a better parallel system of knowledge, or build upon it a better one.”

      Again, what makes you think people before us did not have a better system of knowledge or a more comprehensive, larger-picture knowledge about ‘science’? The bottom line is this:

      One of modern scientific thought’s major shortcomings is that many scientists take the attitude called Burden of Proof towards God or any other subtler aspects of science, saying that God or soul does not exist until proved. This attitude is fine towards matters related to gross physical existence, but fails miserably when applied to subtle matters.

      The flaw is that you look at the concept of soul only from the benefit point of view, not from the standpoint of what it IS.

  27. December 8, 2009 at 5:19 AM

    …I’ve lived major portion of my life based on naturalism. And not employed supernaturalism. How many days have you lived without naturalism?

    How many times in your life have you tried to walk through a wall thinking sense organs are misguiding and junk?

    TC.

    Stupidosaur,

    A lot of what you say here has already been already discussed by me already on this blog, and may I add, with somewhat ‘greater elaboration’?😉

    Here: https://achupichu.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/atheist-or-intellectual/

    And no, Ambi hasn’t proposed ‘human for science’. He possibly favors a ‘totally natural’ way of living not contaminated by anything ‘artificial’. On this blog, I’ve seen a lot of criticism being leveled against science and technology, but have not come across any tangible solutions to tackle diseases, crime, economic problems, etc. Yes, but I’d got a slight idea of the possible nature of solutions that Ambi might come up with when he’d asked that – “For a dog who sleeps on the side of the road and a human who sleep on a soft bed, fundamentally, what difference does it make?” (when discussing improvement in our lives that science has brought).

    “Personally, I would never touch [eat] anything of these [genetically modified food] things if they are put up for sale in the market.” (meddling with ‘nature’).

    But then, I would rather let Ambi tell us what if proposes to substitute science, research and technology with to satisfy people’s needs for survival and happiness.

    TC.

  28. December 8, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    “but have not come across any tangible solutions to tackle diseases, crime, economic problems, ”

    Time is all I need to post everything on these things. Unfortunately I don’t have that much time to sit and type down in detail… may be over a period of time I can do it.

    As a sutra, let me put it to you this way: stop treating symptoms and address the root cause. THAT would be more scientific for me.

  29. December 8, 2009 at 2:40 PM

    //As a sutra, let me put it to you this way: stop treating symptoms and address the root cause. THAT would be more scientific for me.

    OF COURSE thats the most scientific! Please show us the way! You can give links too in case there are, and it will help you save on typing.

    • December 8, 2009 at 3:27 PM

      No links. sorry.

      I can illustrate through a simple interaction, probably.

      Please tell me, according to you, what causes AIDS? How does it spread? what is the current known treatment?

  30. December 8, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    I wanted to ask ‘Stupidosaur’ this…

    “And by the way, who are ‘authorized professors of spiritual “science”‘?
    Who authorizes them? What is the authority of authorizing authority?”

    You know how does the process of authorization work with our ‘modern’ degrees, right? Can you brief me on your understanding?

  31. December 8, 2009 at 6:59 PM

    //You know how does the process of authorization work with our ‘modern’ degrees, right? Can you brief me on your understanding?

    Well, I don’t know the detailed background of the process. But my guess is that we take in subjects which are deemed meaningful and/or useful and club them together into specific courses. I don’t know how universities are formed but usually the courses are offered by universities and their affiliates. Teaching is imparted (or not :P) and exams are conducted to evaluate the knowledge and understanding of the subject gained. And though I have degree, I concede that I hardly scratched the surface of the vast field of science while getting it, so I don’t claim to be highly ‘authorized’ just by virtue of a degree. However, the whole long process of education (not just degree education) did impart me with, or rather honed and encouraged my own dormant abilities of reasoning and rationalization. Anyways, I digress. I don’t have a deeper knowledge of ‘degree granting’. But I took the degree course because I liked what education system provided me till then, and I did expect the future content also to be sensible, not to mention useful in career.

    BTW as AIDS is caused by a virus, which you can contract if any infected HIV virus carrying body fluid comes in contact with your blood or body fluid.

    As far as I know, no perfect treatment exists, and science acknowledges that. Though means of prolonging life and containing complications have found success to a limited extent. Dr. Ketan would be able to shed more light on this matter than me.

    • December 8, 2009 at 8:50 PM

      The name “stupidosaur” does not do you justice… so let me address you as “Mr.S”.

      Well, let’s dig deeper. I will use myself as an example. I have a MS degree in Electrical Engineering… including which I have about 7 years of study in Engineering. So: What qualified me for the degree? Who endorsed me as being qualified? What is the authorization for the University to give me this degree?

      If you look at the answers for these questions, the most reasonable answer would be that people who were qualified in the same subject before me had a chance to teach me, look at my performance in a standard set of tests and recommended to the University that I deserve the MS degree. Right? So who authorized the professors? It falls on their teachers… and so on.

      So, to answer your original question, when it comes to spiritual science, it is the teacher who endorses a student as qualified. He then authorizes his student to become the next teacher. This goes on backwards… just like in the previous case.
      Now you may argue saying that there are no common standards to follow, no ‘recognized’ universities and so on… but there ARE ‘institutions’ (not in terms of buildings, paper certificates etc.) called ‘sampradayas’ which are authoritative enough. There are several standard textbooks (many are common to different sampradayas) and each line of teachers have set rules and tests to identify who understood the siddhanta properly… and no, it is not subjective. The lines of reasoning, hypothesis, logic, argument, counter-argument are all allowed. There is no dogmatic acceptance anywhere… but just like in science, a little bit of faith is required in the teacher. Once the action-result scenarios begin expanding, your faith increases and become convictions.

      The difference comes in where you say that the degree course was ‘useful in career’. Spiritual science is not about increasing one’s own assets and increasing one’s luxury in life. It has a different purpose. This we can discuss some other time.

      You could safely say that you are not aware of such things… if you do not believe it to be possible this can be so with spiritual science.

      I will wait for Ketan to respond on the AIDS question.

  32. December 9, 2009 at 4:03 AM

    “Again, what makes you think people before us did not have a better system of knowledge or a more comprehensive, larger-picture knowledge about ’science’?”

    I’ve never ruled out the possibility that older civilizations could have had better understanding and technology than current one.

    But, I do not take it to be the default view that the older civilizations DEFINITELY had better understanding than us.

    If they would’ve had better technologies, then archeological surveys would’ve shown, and secondly how come did those technologies disappear despite there not being large-scale calamities?

    After all, technologies like agriculture and textiles have survived till date. So have religious festivals and rituals and certain studies like mathematics, geometry, scriptures, calendar, astrology, ancient medicine, architecture, etc. So why only selectively ‘more sophisticated’ scientific and technologic advancements have disappeared?

    “The flaw is that you look at the concept of soul only from the benefit point of view, not from the standpoint of what it IS”

    Ambi, you’re totally making me repeat one simple point, yet again. When I use the term ‘benefit’, I just don’t mean improving our lives. This benefit serves as VERIFICATION of the ‘chain of reasoning’ used to reach a particular PREDICTED outcome as correct, which in turns reassures us that whatever axioms accepted and ‘leaps of faith’ (gap in knowledge) made were justified and correct. I’d given you a lengthy example of paracetamol tablet, which had irritated you, if you remember.🙂 …

    • December 9, 2009 at 9:47 AM

      so, what makes you think I took a default position as such without any ‘verification’ and such?

      When I say of science, the only thing you can think of is diseases, transport, houses and so on… I talk of the dynamics that is inherent to existence.

      You and me have a fundamentally different view on what is ‘advancement’. So, going back and forth like cows chewing the cud is becoming tiring.

  33. December 9, 2009 at 4:05 AM

    …I’d told you that if by giving paracetamol tablet, fever would not be cured in a majority of patients, then I’d stop believing in the lengthy chain of reason used to develop paracetamol. And I’d absolutely, irreversibly, totally stop believing in science, if even a SINGLE patient would turn into a frog! Seriously, I would stop believing.

    So in case of soul I’m asking you to tell me, which outcome if predicted by you after giving a chain of reasoning, if contradicted would you REJECT the hypothesis of soul?

    What ‘outcome’ (like, bringing down fever when giving paracetamol, and the patient not turning into a frog) are you putting forth, which can be best explained by the hypothesis of soul, and no other theory.

    Also, would I be right if I say the at the extreme ‘positive end’ of spectrum of health would be life, and at the ‘negative end’ would be absence of life – ‘death’? I will wait for you to agree/disagree/modify this statement to proceed further.

    “Please tell me, according to you, what causes AIDS? How does it spread? what is the current known treatment?”

    AIDS is caused by HIV, it spreads through contact with bodily fluids, and its treatment is some drugs.

    “This is exactly what I said about outlook. You have your own idea on what is spirituality and what it says. And if I were to take it upon myself to change it – I will have to get away from my day work.

    I didn’t mean to be degrading with comment on outlook. I merely stated it is different – oh for so many reasons you have quoted.”

    Well, I found nothing degrading in your response so nothing for you to clarify there.🙂
    You probably missed or disbelieved an assurance I’d made while asking you why you would not perform that experiment.

    “Please don’t think I’m making fun of any scriptures or mythology.”

    • December 9, 2009 at 9:54 AM

      Let me go by negation. If you do not accept the existence of the soul, explain the difference between a living body and a dead body.

      on AIDS, how do you prevent the spread of the disease?

  34. December 9, 2009 at 4:08 AM

    And if you’d read carefully, I’ve not even asked you to actually perform the experiment. I’m more interested in the REASONS you won’t perform that experiment. [Though we disagree on many things, we agree on quite too many, and you seem to be nice person – no ‘scientific/spiritual’ reason behind this impression😉 ; so I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself! :)]

    And one honest confession – I’ve always been curious as to what ‘spiritality’ means. Can atheists according to your definition of the term, be spiritual?

    For me very vaguely, spirituality means trying to view the World/Universe and the self from a third-person view (‘detached’ view), without ‘contaminating’ the conclusions drawn with our emotions and desires. So, in this sense, science, naturalism and attempts at recalling chain of thoughts in my own mind constitue ‘spiritual’.

    So, if I use ‘spiritual’ in any other sense, it’s not the usual meaning I assign to it. But I’ve never been able to understand what others mean by it. So I usually, avoid using that term.

    Some people use it to mean ‘related to soul’. But I find the term ‘ego’ or ‘ahm’ (not very sure of meaning of ahm) – the feeling of ‘self’ as more descriptive and better understandable than soul.

    TC.

    • December 9, 2009 at 9:59 AM

      Ketan, I am more concerned on the reason and premise behind your question rather than the question itself. If the premise is flawed, then I see no reason to get in to analysis for it.

      “And one honest confession – I’ve always been curious as to what ’spiritality’ means. Can atheists according to your definition of the term, be spiritual?”

      Yes, they can be. Advaita and Buddhism are per se atheist philosophies. But they are ‘spiritual’ in one sense.

      Your are sort of correct in the definition of spirituality… but add to it the fact that contamination of the conclusions is also due to inherent defective nature of our senses, and hence our logical inference and reasoning and therefore our direct experience too.

      At this point we will hit a wall if we take a standpoint that in the above case there is NO way to ascertain what is true what it is and what is not.

  1. October 4, 2010 at 2:55 AM

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