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Everything posted by suryaz

  1. From "ethicsBeliefDebste_files/AD0000004932.gif" width=124 0>Many theologians and philosophers of religion are actively involved in the Ethics of Belief Debate. A short collection of essays written by several well-known academics was complied by the American Academy of Religion which clarifies why we have reasons for faith and I would like to share their insights with you. The discussion arises out of the need for theologians and philosophers to justify truth claims about their beliefs. If someone holds a particular religious belief then there should be justifying reasons which warrant conviction of the mind. Hopefully, the reasons are free, inward and self-evident and not necessarily because "Joe told me so" or "this is always what we believed." It was William Clifford who first proposed that we should proportion the confidence we invest in our beliefs to the evidence we have. (2) The essays he published caused quite a stir in his day and encouraged such famous writers as G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis to respond. When we believe, do we assent to the truth "God exists" or do we infer (by experience)? Is what we believe one of the following? Presumption Persuasion Belief Conclusion Conviction or Certainty (excludes doubt) Do our beliefs have: Plausibility Probability Doubtfulness or Untrustworthiness VAN A. HARVEY clearly states that Christians have a duty and are bound by their beliefs to seek the truth. If a Christian belief by definition is the entertaining of propositions incommensurate with the evidence, the Christian cannot be regarded as a lover of truth (a moral virtue) (189), therefore, it is imperative to the Christian to base beliefs upon truth supported by evidence. JOHN NEWMAN proposes that the certainty of a proposition does not consist in the certitude of the mind which contemplates it. (84) For example, not all men discriminate the same way such as identifying particular authors of a book in the Bible. There are also no specific criteria for judging gentlemanly behavior, poetic excellence and heroic action. The belief we hold about the degree of these rests in our own propriety, skill, taste, discretion, art, method and temperament. LESLIE STEPHEN agrees on the grounds that there are other affections which motivate us besides love of the truth; men of equal ability can hold diametrically opposite principles which shows certitude alone is no test of objective truth. (110) Does it follow that nobody ought to be certain? Of course not, but do we: 1) entertain relevant evidence? 2) 2) do our actions based on erroneous belief make the error manifest? (112) Perhaps we can rely on the experience of others - is there a uniformity in nature which expresses itself as to whether some things are good and others bad? Maybe the truth of a belief does not rest on the weight of the evidence, but from whence the weight is derived? Who told you?(157) In love, it would be the degree of truth verified by experience or by experts and we cannot reach certainty because there may be possibilities which we are unable for want of evidence to exclude. (160) You can't alter the effect of the evidence by your feelings about it, "I just feel it in my gut" and if you wish to believe in truth, you would usually act on certain principles. Michael Polanyi's book "Personal Knowledge" calls these kind of principles a fiduciary framework. All of us hold basic propositions which we assume to be true without systematically and critically examining our reasons. Wittgenstein referred to the example of a chess game and his basic belief about the chess pieces - he assumes that they are not arbitrarily going to start changing places. He is content to accept they would not and this has nothing to do with his stupidity or credulity (Van Harvey, 193) it just makes life easier. It has been argued that if one cannot prove the evidence of belief in God, than the effort to do so is meaningless, for example, Immanuel Kant's "If one cannot, one ought not" quote. We also make the assumption that one must adhere to norms and procedures in a particular sphere of study (202) - scientific, analytic - when there may be a host of other ways to find truth. In what proportion (HUME) or threshold (CLIFFORD) do we hold the strength of the evidence? Can truth be assigned degrees? Is there some other VALUE to the evidence, a "solace and private pleasure of the believer" which was disparaged by Clifford, yet nonetheless provides some goods received for holding beliefs which may or may not be illusory. Maybe the key is not so much the objective and universal truth, but the nature of the consequence in believing, or the moral character one is led to as a result of the belief. If one simply is looking toward Truth - than you do not want to distort the issue with values - this is the "Primacy of truth" claim that it is not the proportions of truth, but truth's intrinsic importance. Faith causes knowledge itself - this is what St. Thomas Aquinas and Augustine have shown. Aquinas believed that our will is biased to the good of the person by fundamental beliefs which are not typically illusory. What one gains by believing (226) causes the election voluntarily by the will. There are scientific AND volitional justifications for belief and you cannot force yourself to believe "at will" or "unwillingly." Therefore, your will to believe the truth or falsity of a statement is usually based upon reason. < >AAR Studies in Religion 41 Edited by Gerald D. McCarthy Scholars Press, Atlanta Georgia, [This message has been edited by suryaz (edited 08-23-2001).]
  2. Hi, Gtam Received an e-mail from Jaya Sri Radhey to day. S/He me said that the above "is not a 'mantra'" as such. Rather this is "a verse from the popular traditional song of a Rasik Saint from Vrindavan." I still do not know which sadhu. Jaya Sri Radhey also provided a translation of the verse. This is as follows: "The meaning of the verse is beautiful", " 'rAdhe meri swAminI'= Sri Radharani is my BELOVED Mistress, 'mai rAdhe ka dAs'= I am the blessed SERVANT of Sri Radhaji 'janma-janma mujhe jiyum'= Let me born in EVERY lifetime 'zri vRndAvan me vAs'= to RESIDE in the sacred Land of Vrindavana in Her service!" Hare Krsna Suryaz [This message has been edited by suryaz (edited 08-23-2001).]
  3. Once as I sat in the courtyard of Krishna Balarama Mandir I met a Brij-bhasi. We talked for a while about Vrindavan and what it meant to me and to him. Towards the end of our conversation he gave me a mantra. He told me he was from one of the local temples and the mantra had been in his family since the time of Mahaprabhu. All family members receive it so they will forever take their birth as Radha's frinds in Vrindavan. The mantra is as follows: Radhe-meri-swamini (spelling ??? sounds like this) Me Radhe ki das Janam-janam muhed jiyu (spelling??? sounds like this) Sri vrindavan me bhas Does anybody know the origin of this mantra? Suryaz [This message has been edited by suryaz (edited 08-21-2001).]
  4. To what historical period does Sridhar Swami belong? What are his works? Can you make a character profile?
  5. ____________ Yes! That may be. I am sorry I should have written more clearly. Instead of writing "Vedic" I should have written 'Vedic', or perhaps both. Yes, I was using temple lingo and at the same time repeating the use of language (by someone) in the relative context at the give period in history. I do not really know what the correct punctuation format is in this situation. On the one hand 'Vedic' is correct and on the other hand I was repeating Madhu's said word. (Anybody know?) Humm! The "Great Dividing Range"; that spans a huge distance. I am in Victoria. Do I know you? I am interested to talk with you. If you want to write to me I am suryaz@hotmail.com Suryaz [This message has been edited by suryaz (edited 08-06-2001).]
  6. BB, a rough diamond no doubt, but you just cannot help yourself. Why must everything be a red flag? Now my good man, try opening your "heart to all and let the warmth" of Krsna's "love shine in" (c/f Siddha 1974/5). Search for that Zone unknown to many (I think they call it Chintamani-dham or something. Brahma Samhita: Ch 5, V 56 talks about it). Anyway it is the zone where every step is a dance and every word a song – yes, BB - far removed from: anger, blood, fighting and the rest of that. [This message has been edited by suryaz (edited 08-06-2001).]
  7. "So back to the subject at hand on my first response: didn't Kieth Ham try modernising the kirtans and bhajans with English and Xtion stuff? Yes, did." I guess he did in a way. But so also did Siddha. Siddha in 1974-5 produced an audiotape that contained chanting, English lyrics and Indian bhajans. The English lyrics ranged from "I want to Open my heart to all" to a love song about Radha and Krishna under a willow tree. It was a big issue in Australia/New Zealand zone. As I remember it, there was much controversy as to whether there were "Willow" trees in Vrindavan. Further as Talasiga pointed out "In the early days in Melbourne there was singing with just bongos, guitars and Upendra with his violin. Kirtans were ecstatic." Certainly guitars and tambourines, as with mrdangas and kartals were used in kirtan (both in the temple and on Hari-nam) in Australian up until 1975. Then Madhudvisa changed the focus and emphasised more "Vedic" musical instruments for temple programs, although occasionally guitars were used for Hari-nam. In the1980-90’s however, travelling ‘sankirtan’ bus-parties headed by Ramai Swami were equipped with electric guitars and all the typical Jazz, Rock and modern instruments. Again chanting, English lyrics and Indian bhajans were engaged. Suryaz [This message has been edited by suryaz (edited 08-05-2001).]
  8. In Australia mice have been product using the cross-genetic material from two female mice. No male sperm is required for this cross-gene procreation. Using this development an infertile or impotent male can also use one cell containing his DNA, so as to produce cross-genetic offspring with his wife. To ensure the creation of the necessary genetic proportions for human development chemicals are used to dissolve unwanted gene matter. In such incidences the offspring are not clones. In cloning, a cell containing only one person's DNA is sufficient for the function; and to provide the necessary equipment for the formation of an embryo in host mother. So what of the soul? Where does it come from? This also brings into question the infallibility of the "Srimad Bhagavatam" >>> Fixed the quote. -jndas [This message has been edited by jndas (edited 07-15-2001).]
  9. What makes the temple come alive is the experience of the living god. If no religious experience is conveyed to the visitor, then there is little chance that a temple can remain alive forever. What do you mean by "the experience of the living god"? I do not understand this bit.
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