1. Standard memberDasa
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    25 Feb '11 19:53
    Given proof of God, would a materialist know how to read it?

    People often ask us, “Can you prove the existence of God?” Proof indicates a conclusive demonstration that establishes the validity of an assertion, in this case the assertion that God exists.

    But as soon as we speak of a demonstration, the next question is “To whom shall we demonstrate?” If we speak of evidence or data, we must know who will see and hear it. In other words, who will judge the results of a particular experiment, test, or trial.

    Consider a hypothetical example. Doctor Waterport, the famous scientist, has just discovered a sophisticated formula that solves a technical mathematical problem. He proudly calls his colleagues together and presents them with thirty pages of ultra-technical symbols. His fellow scientists pore over the pages and conclude, “Yes, this is the answer we’re looking for.” If Dr. Waterport were to show the proof to an ordinary person on the street, the person wouldn’t even know how to hold the pages right side up. Because he’s not trained in mathematics, the proof would be meaningless to him. Conclusion: Proof demands a qualified audience.

    Certainly, any valid proof must be logical. But how we apply logic depends on our previous experience. For example, suppose an apple tree is growing outside your window. One morning you hear a sound like that of an apple hitting the ground, and when you look outside you see a ripe apple lying beneath the tree. Logically, you conclude, the apple has just fallen from the tree.

    Your logical statement rests on your previous observation that the apple tree produces apples, that the apples fall to the ground, and that they make a certain sound when this occurs. And your statement appears logical to those with similar experience.

    So we apply logic in terms of our experience. Therefore, how can we expect to make God logical to a person who has had no spiritual experience? How can God appear logical to a person to whom the very terminology of the science of God is unintelligible? Thus it is ludicrous when those who are spiritually blind, deaf, and dumb demand that God be made “logical” to them and that His existence be “proved.”

    In general, it is illogical for a person untrained in some field of knowledge to demand that a particular fact pertaining to that field of knowledge be logically demonstrated to him. For example, if someone who has no idea what a number is demands that I logically demonstrate that two plus two equals four, I can’t do it. Similarly, if a spiritual ignoramus demands that God be logically demonstrated to him, his very request is illogical. So how can the illogical demands of atheists be met?

    We can easily provide innumerable proofs of God—provided we are free to stipulate that the judge of the data be a person who is spiritually trained. Devotees of the Lord who are advanced in God consciousness can logically, evidentially, and demonstratively deal with the reality of the soul and God. But materialistic fools demand that God, a nonmaterial being, be reduced to a material formula.

    It is patently absurd to demand material proof for a nonmaterial entity. Mathematical or physical laws describe predictable ways in which material things interact. God and the soul are not material and thus cannot be reduced to material descriptions.

    This does not mean, however, that the soul is outside the jurisdiction of logical discussion. Consciousness itself is spiritual, not material, and thus the study of consciousness, or spirit, is not beyond the scope of human beings.

    In fact, all fields of knowledge depend on tangible perception of the soul, since all sciences depend on a conscious scientist who works with consciousness, which is spiritual, not material. In other words, spiritual awareness is intrinsic to all types of awareness, although materialistic people do not recognize that consciousness is spiritual.

    So there is no lack of data to prove the existence of spirit, since consciousness itself is spiritual. The problem is that foolish intellectuals whimsically designate consciousness a material, not a spiritual, entity. But as soon as we accept the simple truth that consciousness itself is spiritual, we find that in every stage of awareness and in every field of knowledge our perception of all manner of data is resting on a spiritual experience—the experience of being conscious. And when consciousness studies itself, it reaches the stage called spiritual consciousness, or self- realization. Ultimately, when the self-realized person fixes his consciousness on the source of all consciousness, he reaches the realization of God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

    For one who has not perceived the superior pleasure of God consciousness, it will seem illogical to restrict his material enjoyment. A God conscious person, however, perceives that spiritual consciousness is far more pleasurable and satisfying than material consciousness. He further perceives that sinful activities—activities against the laws of God—harm that consciousness. Thus it is entirely logical for a God conscious person to obey the laws of God, just as it is logical for an ordinary citizen to obey the laws of the state.

    Ultimately, we must come to the stage of absolute logic, which refers to absolute perception, a perception of things with eternally recognizable properties and eternally established relationships. For example, God is the supreme master and enjoyer and we are His eternal servants. Thus it is absolutely logical for us to serve Him, for we are then situated in our natural, constitutional position. To serve a mundane employer may be logical, but it is not absolutely logical, since after the employer’s death, or upon his bankruptcy, serving him is illogical.

    In conclusion, logic is a secondary process that follows the primary process of consciousness. We are conscious, for example, that numbers have particular values and properties, and based on this perception, we can state that a particular mathematical equation is either logical or illogical. Similarly, by purifying our existence through the practice of God consciousness, we can perceive the values and properties of God, and thus we can discern that a particular statement about God is either logical or illogical. By confirming our analysis with the Vedic literatures, which are standard reference works of spiritual science compiled by realized devotees, we can perfectly understand the science of God consciousness.
  2. SubscriberProper Knob
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    25 Feb '11 20:05
    Originally posted by Dasa
    Given proof of God, would a materialist know how to read it?

    People often ask us, “Can you prove the existence of God?” Proof indicates a conclusive demonstration that establishes the validity of an assertion, in this case the assertion that God exists.

    But as soon as we speak of a demonstration, the next question is “To whom shall we demonstrate?” If we ...[text shortened]... nce compiled by realized devotees, we can perfectly understand the science of God consciousness.
    It's forum etiquette to provide the source for your cut and paste.
  3. Standard memberavalanchethecat
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    25 Feb '11 20:131 edit
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    It's forum etiquette to provide the source for your cut and paste.
    You mean Dasa is not Hridayananda dasa Goswami? Gosh, that seems, well... dishonest.

    Incidentally, I wondered why so many Krishnas include 'dasa' in their name. I investigated and found this:

    "Dasa - a member of an aboriginal people in India encountered and embattled by the invading Aryans (c. 1500 BC). They were described by the Aryans as a dark-skinned, harsh-spoken people who worshiped the phallus."

    Call me childish, but I couldn't help but giggle.
  4. Joined
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    25 Feb '11 20:15
    Originally posted by Dasa
    Given proof of God, would a materialist know how to read it?

    People often ask us, “Can you prove the existence of God?” Proof indicates a conclusive demonstration that establishes the validity of an assertion, in this case the assertion that God exists.

    But as soon as we speak of a demonstration, the next question is “To whom shall we demonstrate?” If we ...[text shortened]... nce compiled by realized devotees, we can perfectly understand the science of God consciousness.
    If it is to be that I do not have the proper training, so be it.
  5. SubscriberSuzianne
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    25 Feb '11 20:21
    Originally posted by Proper Knob
    It's forum etiquette to provide the source for your cut and paste.
    You're just miffed his target is atheists today.

    Tomorrow it'll be Christians again.

    But yeah, cut and paste spam FTL.
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    25 Feb '11 20:52
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    You're just miffed his target is atheists today.

    Tomorrow it'll be Christians again.

    But yeah, cut and paste spam FTL.
    FTL= faster than light?
  7. Subscribersonhouse
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    25 Feb '11 20:58
    Originally posted by Dasa
    Given proof of God, would a materialist know how to read it?

    People often ask us, “Can you prove the existence of God?” Proof indicates a conclusive demonstration that establishes the validity of an assertion, in this case the assertion that God exists.

    But as soon as we speak of a demonstration, the next question is “To whom shall we demonstrate?” If we ...[text shortened]... nce compiled by realized devotees, we can perfectly understand the science of God consciousness.
    So to specify a judge be 'spiritually trained' would mean to be preaching to the choir. The actual proof would be to establish a comm line to said god and get things going on earth like SHOWING us the link and the godhead on the other end. On the other hand, if such a 'godhead' was in fact just an extremely advanced alien bent on impressing you, how would that SPIRITUALLY TRAINED judge know the difference between this advanced alien and a real god. I say this judge would be in the same spot as a person listening to a computer which is trying to pass the Turing test. Good luck with that one.
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    25 Feb '11 21:29
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So to specify a judge be 'spiritually trained' would mean to be preaching to the choir. The actual proof would be to establish a comm line to said god and get things going on earth like SHOWING us the link and the godhead on the other end. On the other hand, if such a 'godhead' was in fact just an extremely advanced alien bent on impressing you, how would t ...[text shortened]... on listening to a computer which is trying to pass the Turing test. Good luck with that one.
    There is a valid point here. The proof of God may presuppose intellectual attainment beyond the ordinary. In fact, I would think that it necessarily would. Debates about the existence of God involve an incredible complexity of philosophical, historical and scientific baggage. And even then, there may be affective, psychological barriers preventing someone from accepting the existence of God. I suspect a great number of atheists would feel intense discomfort at the changes to life that would be necessary when the existence of God is acknowledged. Of course, I agree with you that it is nonsense to insist that only those 'spiritually trained' can understand the proof of God because as, you note, 'spiritually trained' is practically defined as someone willing to accept the proof in the first place! Nonetheless, there is a valid point that proofs can be difficult, not all may understand nor will all be willing to accept them.
  9. Standard memberfinnegan
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    25 Feb '11 23:261 edit
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    There is a valid point here. The proof of God may presuppose intellectual attainment beyond the ordinary. In fact, I would think that it necessarily would. Debates about the existence of God involve an incredible complexity of philosophical, historical and scientific baggage. And even then, there may be affective, psychological barriers preventing someone f that proofs can be difficult, not all may understand nor will all be willing to accept them.
    Historically it is more accurate to say the the notion of "proving" is not part of the process of "finding" God. I have a little difficulty locating debates about "God" in Eastern philosophy or religion. I am not convinced they use the concept in the sense applied by the monotheist religions. In Western religious history, monotheism seems to originate in Judaism post Babylon. Hellenic influences from the 2nd Century BC seem to have encouraged efforts to reconcile Greek philosophical thinking with religious thinking, and Christian theology is very much constructed around that effort. Augustine despaired of resolving the arguments arising and turned to the argument that Faith is not amenable to Reason. Thomas Aquinas restored Reason with a struggle, arguing that in its absence, Christians could not talk to pagans or muslims, but only talk in circles to those already accepting the Bible as their authority. However, the increasingly heated efforts to reconcile religious and scientific reasoning do not, to my mind, demonstrate that this is a valuable exercise.

    The contemporary debate between science and religion has two parties (defenders of science versus religious opponents of science) and in my opinion, the religion party is losing any claim to be taken seriously because too much of the argument from their side requires us to ignore and forget what is so well established through science. As long as religious bigots demand that we set aside all of our hard won discoveries because they are inconvenient to their small minded sectarian agendas, then they will necessarily and rightly be confronted with arguments against their attitude and their claims.

    However, within the religious camp there are many people who ignore this debate as a futile one that is beside the point. They do not make ridiculous claims to strange wisdom, contrary to the discoveries of centuries. Instead they approach the religious experience as an internal and challenging one, seeking an attitude or a state of mind or a way of being alive which is for them "meaningful," exhilerating or at least satisfying.

    This may be creative and life enhancing or it may be delusional. Across the field, there is a consistent claim that the individual working without guidance is liable to make serious errors and to go astray. Without advocating Buddhism in particular, it is helpful that this religion emphasises the notion that spiritual development is a skill, and it is helpful to recognize that a skill requires effort and guidance if it is to be mastered.

    The experience of discovering "faith" is widely documented and demonstrably life changing. However, at some point the individual has to find a way to integrate that experience into their life and the prospect is that, at this stage, they will interpret their undoubted experience in accordance with whatever teachings they encounter as part of the process. In some cases, the experience can be induced (authentically or perhaps in a distorted form) with the effect of leaving the individual susceptible to persuasion. There have been too many willing martyrs for this to be in doubt, sometimes in causes that are patently evil. No matter how real the religious experience may be for anyone, this cannot simply remove the need for careful thinking about what it actually implies.

    Frustratingly, this surely means at some point that even religious people have a responsibility to enter into a reasoned discussion of their experiences. However, this could be done in more fruitful ways than by questioning the laws of gravity. Just because one has a deeply meaningful experience of religion, it does not follow that one is required to protect this experience by becoming a passive, unthinking passenger in a vessel driven by bigotry and sectarian hatreds. It could start by recognizing that other people have comparable experiences and reach very different conclusions as a result.
  10. Standard memberrvsakhadeo
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    26 Feb '11 12:14
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Historically it is more accurate to say the the notion of "proving" is not part of the process of "finding" God. I have a little difficulty locating debates about "God" in Eastern philosophy or religion. I am not convinced they use the concept in the sense applied by the monotheist religions. In Western religious history, monotheism seems to originate in Ju ...[text shortened]... r people have comparable experiences and reach very different conclusions as a result.
    I agree with most of what you say. But some points I wish to make additionally are:- i) apart from Buddhism, Hinduism also says it is possible to develope spiritual skills and have spiritual experience by following certain practices. Yogic practices are very well laid down by Patanjali,a seer whose time was as ancient as that of Gautam Buddha.ii) in Hinduism, it is possible to realize God by either Bhakti(Devotion) or by doing one's Duty without aspiring for any fruit or by Dnyana(Learning acquired from a Guru/Teacher and internalised by meditation) or by a combination of all of above. Our faith does not hold Science/Scientists as anti-religious. Hinduism is probably the most tolerant of Religions . It also empasises that to realise God it is better to have a Mentor/Guru so that one is saved from any dangers inherent in the practice of Spiritualism.
  11. Joined
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    26 Feb '11 12:47
    Originally posted by Dasa
    Given proof of God, would a materialist know how to read it?

    People often ask us, “Can you prove the existence of God?” Proof indicates a conclusive demonstration that establishes the validity of an assertion, in this case the assertion that God exists.

    But as soon as we speak of a demonstration, the next question is “To whom shall we demonstrate?” If we ...[text shortened]... nce compiled by realized devotees, we can perfectly understand the science of God consciousness.
    Plagiarism is dishonesty*.

    *Please note that the word dishonesty is being used in its correct context and meaning here and not as you use it (i.e. to fight off disagreement of your doctrine).

    Further reading on the dishonesty of plagiarism can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism

    Further reading on dishonesty can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishonesty
  12. Wat?
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    26 Feb '11 13:11
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Plagiarism is dishonesty*.

    *Please note that the word [b]dishonesty
    is being used in its correct context and meaning here and not as you use it (i.e. to fight off disagreement of your doctrine).

    Further reading on the dishonesty of plagiarism can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism

    Further reading on dishonesty can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dishonesty[/b]
    My cut n paste for the day is:

    Swann is a wealthy art collector who falls in love with a beautiful girl of expensive habits. He chases and finances her until he almost breaks down under the strain.

    Finally he discovers that he does not love her, but ends up marrying her.

    The English translation is stuffy, but freely available:

    Swann in Love .

    ..........................................................................................................

    The Proust theorem:



    Since most people believe more or less coherently in some ideal like justice, beauty, love, loyalty, something that does not seem to serve their practical interests, Proust reasoned like this:

    If there is no immortal soul, then:

    (quote)

    "these notions which exist in our mind must be nothing either. We must perish, but we have as hostages these divine captives who will share our fate. And death in their company is somehow less bitter, less inglorious, perhaps even less probable. "

    (end of quote)
    ..........................................................................................................................................

    This reflection is in "Swann in Love":

    Proust explains the same thing elsewhere: a work of art makes you happy because it strongly relates the present moment (of looking or listening) to a moment far away in the past. Thereby the soul feels that it is where it truly belongs, outside of time, above time, not subject to time, enjoying its immortality.

    ..........................................................................................................

    I quoted this cut n paste "Proust's Theorem" as it appeals to me.

    But as I am Buddhist, Dasa says I do not have a soul... as I am atheist.

    I'd just like to know, Dasa, if you think atheists don't have souls, then why would this charming piece of 'literature' appeal to my whims?

    -m.
  13. SubscriberFMF
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    26 Feb '11 15:141 edit
    Originally posted by Dasa
    A God conscious person [...] further perceives that sinful activities—activities against the laws of God—harm that consciousness. Thus it is entirely logical for a God conscious person to obey the laws of God, just as it is logical for an ordinary citizen to obey the laws of the state.
    I am a "God conscious" person. But my insight is that a spiritual person does not have to accept that there are "laws of God". It is entirely logical for a person who believes that there are "laws of God" to obey those perceived "laws of God". But it is not logical to assume that a "God conscious" spiritual person who does not perceive there to be "laws of God" - or who perceives them to be man-made "laws" created or promoted by religionists claiming to have, or speak on behalf of, God given "authority" - has any logical reason or spiritual imperative to "obey" them. A spiritual person cannot logically "obey" "laws" that he or she does not think actually exist, except (I suppose, in a way) in an autocratic theocracy.
  14. Standard memberrvsakhadeo
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    26 Feb '11 16:25
    Originally posted by FMF
    I am a "God conscious" person. But my insight is that a spiritual person does not have to accept that there are "laws of God". It is entirely logical for a person who believes that there are "laws of God" to obey those perceived "laws of God". But it is not logical to assume that a "God conscious" spiritual person who does not perceive there to be "laws of God" ...[text shortened]... k actually exist, except (I suppose, in a way) in an autocratic theocracy.
    A " God Conscious" person has yielded to the will of the God. If he still has his freedom to disobey it can only mean that he is disobeying only those laws which are contrary to his belief in God. There is no " autocratic theocracy" except some older organised religions which rest on Superstitions.
  15. Wat?
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    26 Feb '11 16:28
    Originally posted by rvsakhadeo
    A " God Conscious" person has yielded to the will of the God. If he still has his freedom to disobey it can only mean that he is disobeying only those laws which are contrary to his belief in God. There is no " autocratic theocracy" except some older organised religions which rest on Superstitions.
    I just sped.
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