Thirty years of civil war may have resulted in an awkward reconciliation process on racial fronts, but one thing it hasn’t diminished is our overlapping plethora of religious practices. We are born into, and primarily practice one particular religion or philosophy but one cannot discount the number of Buddhists at the Kali kovil in Modara or the numerous Hindus at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade. The point is that maybe at the root of it, we are all practicing one religion although with express it differently, because ultimately, what we assume to be different faiths, lead us to similar places in life. If Sri Lanka is more than a little behind in genuine racial harmony, maybe we’ve managed to make up for it and have a head start on the rest of the universe on a spiritual front instead. Once they travel along each river of faith and discover it only leads to one ocean of truth, Sri Lankans may already be there.

This montage comprises photographs I have taken at the many houses of worship I have visited, prayed in or merely passed by. Looking at them collectively, they began to tell me story.

I hope they do the same for you.

Video Credits
Photography: Natalie Soysa
Editor: Maleen Jayasuriya
Music: Prashasthi by Thriloka

  • ordinary lankan

    Wonderful!

    When we are in trouble – individually or collectively we go to places we think can help us –

    and this behaviour is a clear acknowledgement of our human frailty and fragility in this world which probably has many unseen forces …. however we call them.

    According to Arundathi Meegama Hindu Gods first started appearing inside Buddhist temples in the 14th century – and this coincides with a period of profound instability – this island was virtually up for grabs by the Muslims/Chinese or the Vijayanagara Empire —- and in the event the South Indian merchants turned chief ministers – alagakonara’s and alakeswara’s held out till the Chinese and of course Parakramabahu VI saved the island in the 15th century

    Eventually the Buddha sasana (in public) would co-exist rather nicely with the deva sasana in private…..

    there is something deceptive here …. sri lankans seem to treat Gods differently to the educated indians who believe that all human beings are gods ….

    but then we are nothing if not deceptive

    • Velu Balendran

      “aham brahmasmi” googleable

  • Sie.Kathieravealu

    This is true. Based on this truth “The Buddhist Hindu Brotherhood” was founded many years ago and functioned for a few years until “politicians” ‘took-over’ religion as their basic weapon in their crusade for “political power” with ‘service’ to the community as a ‘front’ to ‘earn’ money. The much talked about “colonial mentality” of divide and rule was put into practice by the “patriots” of today.

    Some suggestions that would help to create a UNIQUE SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE that would ultimately bring in GOOD GOVERNANCE by showing the way out for injustice, discrimination, oppression and corruption born due and bred by the present system of governance that is mistakenly or mischievously termed as democratic by persons who call themselves political scientists.

    “Even the demand for devolution needs to be reframed as a demand for democratization that brings government closer to all the people, not just minorities, apart from being made far stronger than the 13th Amendment, which has loopholes allowing the Centre to take back the devolved powers. Along with the demand for abolition of the Executive Presidency, and further devolution to smaller units, it would give all the people of Sri Lanka more control over their lives, instead of having their lives ruled by a remote power in Colombo that knows little and cares less about their needs”.
    So, it is high-time we start to RETHINK in terms of a solution that would address the ASPIRATIONS ALL THE PEOPLE in the country, not just the aspirations of the Tamils, in a just and meaningful way rather than continue to criticize other people for their “faults
    A UNIQUE concept that moves towards a meaningful and just power-sharing arrangement (not devolution) based on true democracy – a large number of people participating in the governance of the country based on equality, equity – is a great deviation from the usual thinking of the meaning of the word “sharing of power” is given below for the perusal and comments of concerned people.
    The best political solution or system of governance to address the problems faced by various sections of the Sri Lankan society – particularly the poor, the politically weak and the various categories of “minorities” who do not carry any “political weight” – would be to DILUTE the powers of all elected representatives of the people by separating the various powers of the Parliament and by horizontally empowering different sets of people’s representatives elected on different area basis to administer the different sets of the separated powers at different locations.
    It has to be devolution HORIZONTALLY where each and every set of representatives would be in the SAME LEVEL as equals and in par and NOT VERTICALLY, where one set of representatives would be above (more powerful than) the other, which is the normal adopted practice when talking of devolution, in this power-hungry world. It is because “devolution of power” has been evolved “vertically”, we have all the trouble in this power-hungry world. So, for sustainable peace it should not be the present form of “devolution of power” but “dilution of powers” or “meaningful sharing of powers” in such a way that no single person or single set of people’s representatives be “superior” to another.
    This system would help to eradicate injustice, discrimination, corruption and oppression – the four pillars of an evil society – and help to establish the “Rule of Law” and “Rule by ALL” for sustainable peace, tranquility and prosperity and a pleasant harmonious living with dignity and respect for all the inhabitants in the country. Everyone must have similar powers, rights, duties and responsibilities and most importantly everyone should be deemed “equal” and treated “equitably” before the law not only on paper but also practically – be it the Head of State, The Chief Justice or the voiceless poor of the poorest in the country.
    Since all political and other powers flow from the sovereignty of the people, it is proposed herein that these powers be not given to any ONE set of representatives but distributed among different sets of people’s representatives (groups) elected on different area basis (village and villages grouped) to perform the different, defined and distinct functions of one and the same institution – the Parliament – like the organs of our body – heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, nose, ear etc. – performing different and distinct functions to enable us to sustain normal life.
    In these suggestions the powers of Parliament have been so separated and distributed among different sets of people’s representatives in different areas so as to dilute the powers of an individual representative or that of a set of representatives in any area. (Dilution is better than Devolution)

  • Comus

    Beautiful work as always, Natty. More 🙂

  • Velu Balendran

    The name Hinduism I am told was coined by westerners for a way of life followed a people. That way of life believes that every individual has a personal faith different from that of another individual. The plethora of gods in the Hindu pantheon I believe is a reflection of that, encouraging a personal path towards emancipation. Hindus believe that in theory there are as many religions as there are individuals. That’s probably why pluralistic Hindus (who know their philosophy) readily acknowledge Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or any other faith for that matter as an alternative “path to the sea”, if they can lead there at all! It may also be the reason why Hindus do not engage in converting people from different faiths.

    • Sie.Kathieravealu

      You may be correct. Every religious/atheist person is a Hindu. It is each individual’s path to attain happiness.

    • World View

      Hindus don’t engage in converting? Then what are the Ramakrishna Missions and Hare Krishnas along with ISKCON doing?

      • Sie.Kathieravealu

        World View
        June 21, 2012 • 12:07 am

        “Hindus don’t engage in converting? Then what are the Ramakrishna Missions and Hare Krishnas along with ISKCON doing?”

        Surely they are not engaged in “conversion”. They are propagating the teachings that is good to everyone. I have not heard that they are requesting their audience to become “Hindus” OR making any attempt in that direction.

      • Sie.Kathieravealu

        rohan gunaratna
        June 20, 2012 • 7:54 am
        Mr.Rohan Gunaratne you are absolutely correct. A harmonious society is what all peace loving citizens aspire.

        It is the present political system that is misnamed as “democracy”, that is one of the causes for the preent state of affairs.

        “Democracy” is defined as government by tne people for the people and of the people. But in the present system being called “democracy” it is “Governance” by ONE person for ONE person and of ONE person in each and every “democratic” country. India the so-called ‘biggest democracy’ in the world is governed by the Head of the Congress Party with the Prime Minister as a “puppet”. It is Sonia’s word that is FINAL unlike in the USA where Obama’s word is NOT FINAL.

        So make attempts to practice “democracy” democratically as per the definition of the word “democracy” for harmony to prevail.

    • Dear Velu Balendran,

      You have said:

      “The name Hinduism I am told was coined by westerners for a way of life followed a people.”

      For your information, the word ‘Hindu’ was used for the first time to denote a religion by ‘James Mill’ in his popular book “History of British India” (1818).
      In his book, he divided the history of India as “Hindu” India, Islamic India and British India. According to his usage of the word ‘Hindu’ it includes Jainism, Buddhism, Ajivagam etc. as well.
      Though the French and British researchers identified the Preaching of Buddha and gave the word “Boudisime” and “Buddhism,” no correction was made in reprints of the book of ‘James Mill’
      In Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit you find the word ‘INDU.’
      The word ‘Indu’ in Tamil has Full Moon, Camphor, spark. animal bear, Soma etc as meanings. In Sanskrit the word ‘Indu’ has the same meanings. In Pali, Indu ,means Full Moon.
      Thirumuular (the first stanza of Thirumanthiram)and the Saiva Saints (Thevarams) have used the word ‘Indu’ to mean Full Moon.

  • rohan gunaratna

    An amazing contribution by Natalie Soysa! The greatest heritage Sri Lankans inherited was harmony. We lost it because our political leaders in the north and south played with ethnicity and religion to either come to power or remain in power. They created a conflict but pitching different ethnic and religious groups against each other. While most politicians are still not committed to rebuilding a harmonious society, Sri Lankan civil society is finally taking on the responsibility to reconcile the hearts and the minds of the people of the north and the south, west and the east. Rather than complain that the government is not playing its part, individual leaders like Natalie Soysa are showing the way forward. Congratulations to another champion of reconciliation Natalie Soysa
    working to build a harmonious society with support by Maleen Jayasuriya
    and Thriloka

  • This article might be well intentioned. But it is a waste of cyberspace. What is the point here that the writer tries to make? That we can achieve harmony through religion because we are essentially believing the same religion and the same truth (proof that we believe the same thing: Buddhists at the Kali kovil in Modara or the numerous Hindus at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade)?

    Jews and Muslims believe in pretty much the same god. The stories in their holy books are quite similar. They even think the same dusty place on planet earth is holy, and have been killing each other over it for two thousand years. They are very likely to achieve harmony through religion. Add in the Christians who also believe pretty much the same god and now you have total harmony.

  • Happy Heathen

    ah…. there goes my grand dream of a SECULAR Sri Lanka…..

  • sabbe laban

    The next few hundred years of the human race will witness more and more destrution and killing in the name of the religion, contrary to what the writer aspires!

  • Moderate

    Strictly speaking all religons preach co-existence and it is possible in a secular state. The problem arises when people feel that their religon is the only truth and others are false. Let alone feelings, when such thoughts are expressed in the spoken and written word, demonising and ridiculing the faith of others this gives rise to anger and hatred.
    Religon being what it is, does give rise to such opinions and controversies. Hence religon is often used to arouse communal feelings and galvanise people to action of various types for various motives, all which may not be neccesarily religous. Being an aethist or agnostic matters not if one openly attacks the faith of others in a virulent manner causing hurt.
    Hence the concept of the unity of humankind as proposed by the author is welcome. Mainly we need to moderate our speech, writing and actions to avoid hurting the feelings of other people. Such an attitude would foster peace and harmony and achieve the ultimate goal of religon or non religon, which is peace on earth. Freedom of speech cannot be misused to attack other people. Laws are required to curb such hate inducing practices.

    • Happy Heathen

      “Strictly speaking all religons preach co-existence”

      NO….. that’s a common fallacy propagated by the religious people to justify their existence.
      Have you ever read Deuteronomy or Leviticus as there are plenty of scathing attacks on non-believers.

      “The problem arises when people feel that their religon is the only truth and others are false”
      Well that’s what the holy books say… that our lord Jeebus is the only true lord and others are all false prophets. Given the vast differences between Abrahamic Religions and Dharmic Religions they can’t be all true. For example if Islam is correct, the polytheism of Hinduism cannot be true.

      Have you ever wondered why we need religion in the first place? (that should be your starting point)

      • Moderate

        Dear HH

        Even if you do not profess to institutionalised religon you may live by some beliefs and principals. That would be your religon. It is not right to blame religon for all the wrongs in the world. Did Hitler have a religon? Did Marx, Stalin or Lenin have aa religon? Did Mao tse Tung have a religon? They all followed some doctrine or other. So absence of religon does not mean that we are going to be in a vacum or utopia. Most of the recent wars are fought for political and geographical reasons not religous.

        What I mean is we should desist from criticising and nit picking on what we have not studied or know in depth. Most criticism of other religons are based on mere heresay. Just to prove a point we must not hurt the feelings of others. My religon or non religon is my own personal buisness as long I dont intrude into the space of others.

        The Author goes beyond this to define a concept of all inclusiveness, love and compassion. Your hurt is my hurt. Your sorrow is my sorrow. Your joy is my joy. Human beings have the remarkable capacity to empathise with others. Why not with all our fellow beings and the whole of human kind. That, I think is what Religon and God is all about.

  • Sie.Kathieravealu

    Mr/Ms Happy Heathen

    “Have you ever wondered why we need religion in the first place? (that should be your starting point)”

    To answer that question please define the word “RELIGION” as per your dictionary OR please tell what you mean by “RELIGION”. That is the starting point and not why we need RELIGION.

    • Kathieravealu,

      Unless you are only interested in an answer from Heathen, take my answer for this.

      A religion is some teaching that,

      1. Convert people to its dogma
      2. Promise some kind of salvation that can never scientifically be verified
      3. Have the appearance of a cult that has grown large
      4. Promise its followers that they possess a truth that others do not ( since those followers cannot add anything to that truth by creating any new knowledge, they go killing people to protect their sacred truth)
      5. Since new knowledge is not created, loses knowledge after every new generation
      6. Hard enough for people to look at it in awe, but simple enough for them to understand (unlike quantum physics or M-theory
      7. Ideas located in the past (unlike science and philosophy which have their ideas located in the future)
      8. Have made falsifiable claims that has duly been falsified (e.g. The great flood), and now, no where to run, lie about it by saying things like science and religion belongs to different domains, or science is not developed enough yet, or lie about the nature of knowledge itself

    • Happy Heathen

      “To answer that question please define the word “RELIGION” as per your dictionary OR please tell what you mean by “RELIGION”. That is the starting point and not why we need RELIGION.”

      There lies part of the problem with religion.

      It’s always been My GOD vs Your GOD. The lunatics who flew planes in to World Trade Centre in NY ‘believed’ that they’ll get turned in to
      martyrs and get 21 virgins in heaven!!

      I don’t need to define religion as I am a non believer. I can’t define things which I don’t believe in. The burden of definition is on the believer not on the non believer.

      However, to make it easier for you, let me ask a simple question which I adopted from Christopher Hitchens….. Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed (non self-serving), by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a rational person?

      • “The burden of definition is on the believer not on the non believer.”

        So if you’re not a Marxist, you shouldn’t define it either? If you’re not a flat earth believer, you shouldn’t define it either?

        There is no such thing as burden of definition. Burden of proof on the other hand is a different concept.

    • Happy Heathen

      Moderate
      June 22, 2012 • 6:25 am

      Let me answer you point by point….

      1. you may live by some beliefs and principals
      – Yes principles but not beliefs

      2. Did Hitler have a religion?
      Yes Hitler was a Catholic and there is documented evidence of Catholic Church being complicit in Hitler’s crimes.
      In fact the Wehrmacht belt buckles were embossed with “GOTT MIT UNS” (God with us). Take a guess who this GOD was as they were not referring to Allah or Shiva

      3.So absence of religion does not mean that we are going to be in a vacuum or utopia

      No I didn’t say so. The problem is that morality and the religion are two exclusive entities and as Arthur C Clark famously claimed “One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion.” Morality exists withour religion.

      4.What I mean is we should desist from criticising and nit picking on what we have not studied or know in depth
      well you may not have studied religion, but I have!

      5.Most criticism of other religions is based on mere heresy.
      NO. Read writings by Hitches, Dawkins, Harris and Arthur C Clark

      6. My religion or non religion is my own personal business as long I don’t intrude into the space of others.

      Yes, but that’s not happening in Sri Lanka.
      Try bringing in gender rights, gay rights and animal rights and see where you end up.
      Can you ban animal sacrifice in Islam? What about abortion rights?…. well the list goes on…..

      7. That, I think is what Religion and God is all about.
      No that’s called HUMANISM!!!! In fact it predates most religions. Lokayata system of Indian philosophy dates back to 1000 BCE)
      Read my 3rd point again.

      • Moderate

        Dear HH

        Your reply shows that you know little about the major religons. Living by self made or man made principles is the alternative? Hitler may have been by name a Catholic and section of the Clergy may have been involved to some extent but that does not mean that Hitler followed the teachings of Christ to do what he did. I suggest that Hitler was a racist, preaching the supremacy of the Aryan race and not a Christian. On the whole, more killings and wars have been justified on the basis of Geo political, Military or Strategic reasons.

        Therein is the fallacy of those who propose to follow their own man made theories and doctrines. These could be a dime in a dozen with every one having a different interpretations of morality, good and bad. What is the justification for killing innocent people? If you leave these thing to reason then you can reason out a reason for killing anyone. There is no limit to immorality and evil.

        Religon is like the rule of law in a country where everyone has to follow the legal system for the good of all. Religon is more on a personal level governing the individual life style. As a follower of one of the major religons I see no conflict with the other religons if we agree too disagree on certain points. All religons preach humanism, love and compassion in a very detailed manner. A common thread of understanding runs through all the major religons.

        What is required is to the understand the viewpoint and beliefs of the other without trying to pick holes and prove the superiority of ones own theories and beliefs.

      • Moderate,

        Even if Hitler was not religious, he clearly exploited an ancient religious concept. He used it to kill Jews. The concept was that all Jews were responsible for killing Christ. This belief runs deep in the Catholic belief system and Hitler exploited it. The point is, the genocide of Jewish people has more to do with the religiousness of German people then the irreligiousness of Hitler.

        The idea that we can’t live by man made rules is nonsense especially when we already do that. God taught that it was okay to have slaves, that it was okay to kill the male children in an entire nation, that it was okay to let your daughters be raped, that it was okay to kill homosexuals. It is we ourselves, thanks to people like Voltaire and Paine, learnt to do better than that.

        You can’t turn to the Bible for ethics and morals. You can learn better ethics and morals from Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter.

  • ordinary lankan

    Lifelong education is the most important thing – with or without religion
    The highest spirituality is that which removes all blocks to learning

    If we converse with closed minds – how will we learn? why this fear of religion? why this narrowness and lack of generosity?

    The Hindus have much to teach us… but this thread shows that it may be an impossible task

  • Sie.Kathieravealu

    Sharanga,

    Your view may not be correct. I agree with the comment made by

    “Moderate” on June 22, 2012 • 6:25 am in this forum. That is better.

    • Except it doesn’t help you to tell religion apart from other things such philosophy.

  • Happy Heathen

    Moderate
    June 24, 2012 • 6:34 am

    You haven’t countered any of my seven points for except for some nonsensical dribble about Hitler and genocide!!

    Please at least answer this questions which I adopted from Christopher Hitchens….. Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed (non self-serving), by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a rational person?

    Furthermore please do provide your standpoint on the following issues;

    1. Gay rights
    2. Gender Rights, specifically abortion
    3. Animal Rights

    Same goes to Sie.Kathieravealu June 22, 2012 • 8:26 pm, still waiting for your answer to Hitchen’s wager.

    • Moderate

      Dear HH

      Rational person? First of all are you rational?

      You say
      “Yes Hitler was a Catholic and there is documented evidence of Catholic Church being complicit in Hitler’s crimes.
      In fact the Wehrmacht belt buckles were embossed with “GOTT MIT UNS” (God with us). Take a guess who this GOD was as they were not referring to Allah or Shiva”

      Hitler in his book Mein Kamp states

      “The anti-German aims pursued by the Habsburgs, especially through the instrumentality of the higher clergy, did not meet with any vigorous resistance, while the clerical representatives of the German interests withdrew completely to the rear. The general impression created could not be other than that the Catholic clergy as such were grossly neglecting the rights of the German population.
      Therefore it looked as if the Catholic Church was not in sympathy with the German people but that it unjustly supported their adversaries. The root of the whole evil, especially according to Schönerer’s opinion, lay in the fact that the leadership of the Catholic Church was not in Germany, and that this fact alone was sufficient reason for the hostile attitude of the Church towards the demands of our people.
      The so-called cultural problem receded almost completely into the background, as was generally the case everywhere throughout Austria at that time. In assuming a hostile attitude towards the Catholic Church, the Pan-German leaders were influenced not so much by the Church’s position in questions of science but principally by the fact that the Church did not defend German rights, as it should have done, but always supported those who encroached on these rights, especially then Slavs.”

      “The only way to remedy the evil I have been speaking of is to train the Germans from youth upwards to an absolute recognition of the rights of their own people, instead of poisoning their minds, while they are still only children, with the virus of this curbed
      ‘objectivity’, even in matters concerning the very maintenance of our own existence. The result of this would be that the Catholic in Germany, just as in Ireland, Poland or France, will be a German first and foremost. But all this presupposes a radical change in the national government.”

      These are the irrational thoughts of rational people who fail to understand the very basis of religon which is the oneness of humankind.

      What I seek to point out is that your obsession with rationality, pointing out the defects of others, borders on the fanaticism of the religous extremist who do the same. You are simply he other side of the same coin.

    • Moderate

      Dear HH

      As for your question by your favourite rationalist Christopher Hitchens, before answering his question I went through his so called master piece ‘God is not Great’. I find it hard to believe such irrational ideas from a so called rationalist.

      He concludes after about 100 pages of rambling and finding fault with every religon under the sun.

      http://www.evolbiol.ru/large_files/hitchens.pdf

      “Religion has run out of justifications. Thanks to the telescope and the microscope, it no longer offers an explanation of anything important. Where once it used to be able, by its total command of a worldview, to prevent the emergence of rivals, it can now only impede and retard—or try to turn back—the measurable advances that we have made. Sometimes, true, it will artfully concede them. But this is to offer itself the choice between irrelevance and obstruction, impotence or outright reaction, and, given this choice, it is programmed to select the worse of the two. Meanwhile, confronted with undreamed-of vistas inside our own evolving cortex, in the farthest reaches of the known universe, and in the proteins and acids which constitute our nature, religion offers either annihilation in the name of god, or else the false promise that if we take a knife to our foreskins, or pray in the right direction, or ingest pieces of wafer, we shall be “saved.” It is as if someone, offered a delicious and fragrant out-of- season fruit, matured in a painstakingly and lovingly designed hothouse, should throw away the flesh and the pulp and gnaw moodily on the pit.
      Above all, we are in need of a renewed Enlightenment, which will base itself on the proposition that the proper study of mankind is man, and woman. This Enlightenment will not need to depend, like its predecessors, on the heroic breakthroughs of a few gifted and exceptionally courageous people. It is within the compass of the average person. The study of literature and poetry, both for its own sake and for the eternal ethical questions with which it deals, can now easily depose the scrutiny of sacred texts that have been found to be corrupt and confected. The pursuit of unfettered scientific inquiry, and the availability of new findings to masses of people by easy electronic means, will revolutionize our concepts of research and development. Very importantly, the divorce between the sexual life and fear, and the sexual life and disease, and the sexual life and tyranny, can now at last be attempted, on the sole condition that we banish all religions from the discourse. And all this and more is, for the first time in our history, within the reach if not the grasp of everyone.
      However, only the most naive Utopian can believe that this new humane civilization will develop, like some dream of “progress,” in a straight line. We have first to transcend our prehistory, and escape the gnarled hands which reach out to drag us back to the catacombs and the reeking altars and the guilty pleasures of subjection and abjection. “Know yourself,” said the Greeks, gently suggesting the consolations of philosophy. To clear the mind for this project, it has become necessary to know the enemy, and to prepare to fight it. ”

      Frankly if this is the type of rational thinking from one of your foremost exponents, then it is no wonder that you are rather confused. I can assure you that over 5 billion people in this world, followers of the major faith, are happier than you could ever be. They are not in need to be liberated by such man made theories and gibberish.

      • Moderate,

        Frankly, I don’t think you can even define rationalism without looking it up in Wikipedia. There’s nothing irrational about Hitchens’ statements about religion. If you think the above passage was irrational, prove it, instead of simply calling the man irrational and mocking him.

        Your claim that we can’t live by man made rules is laughble. Your claim that modern religious people don’t live by man made rules is even more laughable since you yourself live by them (you don’t own slaves do you? And you wouldn’t sell your daughters?)

        As to non-believers being unhappy than believers in irrational, ontologically basic mental things, I think it is arguable to say the least. I think the Happy Heathen is happier than a Muslim kid dying of hunger in Northern Africa.

        Moderate, you just prove my belief that it is better to be a fundamentalist than be a moderate. When you are a fundamentalist, you can throw reason out of the window and believe that snakes can talk. When you’re a moderate, you find yourself in logically indefensible positions.

      • Happy Heathen

        Moderate,

        When you can’t play the ball you play the player followed by more gibberish.

        Please answer the questions in the following order

        1. Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed (non self-serving), by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a non-religious person? (I did dumb-down the question so you don’t have to deal with rationality)

        2. Furthermore please do provide your standpoint on the following issues with reasons;

        a. Gay rights
        b. Gender Rights, specifically abortion and contraception
        c. Animal Rights

        3. Where did I say Christopher Hitchens is a rationalist and/or my favourite? Please stay in the course without fabricating facts.

        If you don’t like Hitchens, do read Harris or Dawkins, or Clark or Singer or Dennett………….

        4. When you are experiencing a heart-attack to do run to a hospital or do you pray?

        5. Would you subscribe to the membership of Flat Earth Society?

        6. If some one proved to you conclusively the non-existence of God, would you go on pillaging, raping and killing? (Since there is no one to judge you and/or heaven or hell)

        Now to deciphering more of your gibberish…

        “I can assure you that over 5 billion people in this world, followers of the major faith, are happier than you could ever be”

        Wrong again. Didn’t you notice my moniker….Happy Heathen!!
        It has been scientifically proven that the atheists, non believers and agnostics are happier and have higher IQ than believers.

        Obviously, you seems to be allergic to science (that’s not my problem though) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224132655.htm

        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201005/the-real-reason-atheists-have-higher-iqs

        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201102/does-religion-make-people-happier

        http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/2011/08/if-religion-makes-you-happy-why-are.html

        However, I must concede that judging by your specious arguments….IGNORANCE IS BLISS!!! According to your argument, people of Saudi Arabia and USA would be the happiest lot…wow that’s telling isn’t it?

        This mob seems to be ecstatic with happiness…….

        http://www.colombopage.com/archive_12A/Jun24_1340559752CH.php

        “Therein is the fallacy of those who propose to follow their own man made theories and doctrines.”

        So do you think Religion is the true word of GOD? How do you know that? Did God speak to you? Do you believe that the keyboard you are banging on is not based on man-made theories? Was the first keyboard given to Noah or Adam?

        Gautama Siddhartha is a man just like you and me perhaps with higher IQ – so essentially Buddhism is a manmade theory. Where do you stand on this?

        ” every one having a different interpretations of morality, good and bad. ”

        That’s what happened with those lunatics who flew planes into WTC in NY ..they believed that they’ll be turned into martyrs and get 21 virgins in heaven!!! BTW if you didn’t know they were followers of Mahound. (Islam)

        There is no need to have different interpretation of morality when there is a functioning rule of law. Killing a human being is wrong, animal cruelty is a crime, racism and homophobia is a punishable offence……..none of these are based on good books.

        ” Religion is like the rule of law in a country where everyone has to follow the legal system for the good of all. ”

        Thank GOD we are not living in a theocracy like in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but we seem to be getting there.

        If we are governed by religions, we’ll be still burning heretics, homosexuals, non-believers, heathens….. we’ll be keeping slaves….. the caste system would be rampant….women would be treated as animals….in fact I would have been killed long ago!

        ” What is required is to the understand the viewpoint and beliefs of the other without trying to pick holes and prove the superiority of ones own theories and beliefs.”

        Now where did I say that my morals are superior to yours?

        I was merely pointing out to the fact that belief in religion is like believing in a flat earth.

        Do you believe in Dragons, what about unicorns, dinosaurs? Perhaps Thor? How about Atheena? Celestial Tea Cup? Flying Spaghetti Monster? Darth Veda? Blood Pressure? Cholesterol? Bubonic Plague? If not, please state your reasons.

        Ironically, you choose to believe in ONE religion after all that gibberish on the commonality of all religions…it means that for you there is only one true religion and all others are false prophets or inferior.

        This is the end of my rant and I don’t want to waste any more cyberspace unless you answer the questions I have raised one by one.

      • Moderate

        Dear HH

        I will answer your queries presently. With regard to the first

        Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed (non self-serving), by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a non-religious person? (I did dumb-down the question so you don’t have to deal with rationality)

        Albert Einstein
        “The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man.”

        Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1607298,00.html#ixzz1ytfivkie

  • Happy Heathen

    Moderate,

    When you can’t play the ball you play the player followed by more gibberish.

    Please answer the questions in the following order

    1. Name one ethical statement made, or one ethical action performed (non self-serving), by a believer that could not have been uttered or done by a non-religious person? (I did dumb-down the question so you don’t have to deal with rationality)

    2. Furthermore please do provide your standpoint on the following issues with reasons;

    a. Gay rights
    b. Gender Rights, specifically abortion and contraception
    c. Animal Rights

    3. Where did I say Christopher Hitchens is a rationalist and/or my favourite? Please stay in the course without fabricating facts.
    If you don’t like Hitchens, do read Harris or Dawkins, or Clark or Singer or Dennett………….

    4. When you are experiencing a heart-attack to do run to a hospital or do you pray?

    5. Would you subscribe to the membership of Flat Earth Society?

    6. If some one proved to you conclusively the non-existence of God, would you go on pillaging, raping and killing? (Since there is no one to judge you and/or heaven or hell)

    Now to deciphering more of your gibberish…

    “I can assure you that over 5 billion people in this world, followers of the major faith, are happier than you could ever be”

    Wrong again. Didn’t you notice my moniker….Happy Heathen!!

    It has been scientifically proven that the atheists, non believers and agnostics are happier and have higher IQ than believers.
    Obviously, you seems to be allergic to science (that’s not my problem though) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224132655.htm
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201005/the-real-reason-atheists-have-higher-iqs
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201102/does-religion-make-people-happier
    http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/2011/08/if-religion-makes-you-happy-why-are.html

    However, I must concede that judging by your specious arguments….IGNORANCE IS BLISS!!! According to your argument, people of Saudi Arabia and USA would be the happiest lot…wow that’s telling isn’t it?
    This mob seems to be ecstatic with happiness…….
    http://www.colombopage.com/archive_12A/Jun24_1340559752CH.php

    “Therein is the fallacy of those who propose to follow their own man made theories and doctrines.”

    So do you think Religion is the true word of GOD? How do you know that? Did God speak to you? Do you believe that the keyboard you are banging on is not based on man-made theories? Was the first keyboard given to Noah or Adam?
    Gautama Siddhartha is a man just like you and me perhaps with higher IQ – so essentially Buddhism is a manmade theory. Where do you stand on this?

    ” every one having a different interpretations of morality, good and bad. ”

    That’s what happened with those lunatics who flew planes into WTC in NY ..they believed that they’ll be turned into martyrs and get 21 virgins in heaven!!! BTW if you didn’t know they were followers of Mahound. (Islam)
    There is no need to have different interpretation of morality when there is a functioning rule of law. Killing a human being is wrong, animal cruelty is a crime, racism and homophobia is a punishable offence……..none of these are based on good books.

    ” Religion is like the rule of law in a country where everyone has to follow the legal system for the good of all. ”
    Thank GOD we are not living in a theocracy like in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but we seem to be getting there.
    If we are governed by religions, we’ll be still burning heretics, homosexuals, non-believers, heathens….. we’ll be keeping slaves….. the caste system would be rampant….women would be treated as animals….in fact I would have been killed long ago!

    ” What is required is to the understand the viewpoint and beliefs of the other without trying to pick holes and prove the superiority of ones own theories and beliefs.”

    Now where did I say that my morals are superior to yours?

    I was merely pointing out to the fact that belief in religion is like believing in a flat earth.
    Do you believe in Dragons, what about unicorns, dinosaurs? Perhaps Thor? How about Atheena? Celestial Tea Cup? Flying Spaghetti Monster? Darth Veda? Blood Pressure? Cholesterol? Bubonic Plague? If not, please state your reasons.

    Ironically, you choose to believe in ONE religion after all that gibberish on the commonality of all religions…it means that for you there is only one true religion and all others are false prophets or inferior.

    This is the end of my rant and I don’t want to waste any more cyberspace unless you answer the questions I have raised one by one.

  • Strike One

    Dear HH

    What aspects of ‘Humanism’ did the late Christopher Hitchens display when he –

    1. Acted as an unquestioning cheer-leader of the ultra-right wing (Christian driven) policies of the Bush administration in its brutal drive to conquer the globe?

    2. Supported Bush’s illegal and unwarrantable invasion of Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people?

    3. Supported Bush’s ultra-right wing ‘global war on terror’, which in effect was just a cover for the US and its allies to grab control of Middle Eastern energy supplies?

    4. Supported the US’ indiscriminate bombing of Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks?

    5. Exploits western ‘Islamaphobia’ to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, but remains silent on other fundamentalist Islamist countries – like Saudi for example – which just happen to be allies of Washington?

    • Happy Heathen

      I am not sure why I need to defend Hitchens for what he said and done or his political motives as I have never said that I am a fan of Hitchens. I gave up idol worshipping long time ago. In fact I can’t stand his British pompousness and arrogance.

      Now where I have said Hitchens is a humanist? (please refrain from fabricating lies)

      I merely adopted his wager as it was eloquently put forward.

      However, you failed to add to the list the following ‘morally’ reprehensible deeds of Hitchens

      1. He was a chain smoker

      2. He got married twice.

      3. He was a heavy drinker

      4. He sued Henry Kissinger for slaughtering 3,000,000 Vietnamese when the International Community gave him the Nobel Peace Price for the Genocide in Vietnam.

      You should have asked these questions from him when he was alive.

      • Strike One

        Dear HH,

        I must say I expected a better response from you. But all you could give me was some dribble about Hitchens’ personal life choices (of which I have no issue) and the utterly dishonest and lazy response “You should have asked these questions from him when he was alive”…

        Personal choices aside, I do (unlike you) take issue with a man’s political ones. I never claimed Hitchen’s to be a humanist either. In my opinion he was an arrogant opportunist scoundrel. But in an earlier post you argued that man can be rational and this leads to humanism. So if rationality and humanism are linked, and Hitchens displayed no humanism, then would it be fair to say he wasn’t a rationalist either?

        May I also suggest you adopt your own standards. Next time don’t criticize dead people… okay?

    • Happy Heathen

      Strike One
      June 26, 2012 • 9:40 am

      Hitchens definitely was arrogance and pompous.

      But I don’t think he was an opportunist, perhaps a borderline scoundrel due to his opposing views on Vietnam war and Afghan/Iraq war.

      Hitchens is a rationalist and not a humanist.

      I never implied that one would lead to another automatically.

      For example, a rationalist would argue after seeing all the environmental degradation caused by human beings that sooner the human race goes to extinction, the better it would be for the environment. This may be rationalist but certainly not humanist.

      http://humanizm.free.ngo.pl/wolenskiang.htm

      http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/articles/why-i-am-not-humanist

      http://www.abc.net.au/religion/stories/s789182.htm

      However, a rationalist should be able to perform any and/or all ‘ethical’ deeds undertaken by a believer.

      I was merely pointing out to Moderate that the ‘ethical’ values he/she was referring to are not in the exclusive domain of religion, but could be found in many Humanist philosophies such as Lok?yata in Indian philosophy.

    • Happy Heathen

      Strike One

      Hitchens definitely was arrogance and pompous.

      But I don’t think he was an opportunist, perhaps a borderline scoundrel due to his opposing views on Vietnam war and Afghan/Iraq war.

      Hitchens is a rationalist and not a humanist.

      I never implied that one would lead to another automatically.

      For example, a rationalist would argue after seeing all the environmental degradation caused by human beings that sooner the human race goes to extinction, the better it would be for the environment. This may be rationalist but certainly not humanist.

      http://humanizm.free.ngo.pl/wolenskiang.htm

      http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/articles/why-i-am-not-humanist

      http://www.abc.net.au/religion/stories/s789182.htm

      However, a rationalist should be able to perform any and/or all ‘ethical’ deeds undertaken by a believer.

      I was merely pointing out to Moderate that the ‘ethical’ values he/she was referring to are not in the exclusive domain of religion, but could be found in many Humanist philosophies such as Lok?yata in Indian philosophy.

  • truth

    By playing the music and showing temples of different faith (in this article)does not prove anything. By destroying temples of other faiths and killing, torturing, raping, disappearing people belonging to other faiths shows how cruel and babaric are the people who are in power and trying to forcefully destroy the people who are in the minority!!!

  • Happy Heathen

    Moderate
    June 26, 2012 • 4:49 pm

    That is not an ethical or a moral statement.

    Gerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead used to come up with stuff like that when he was on LSD trips.

    Furthermore, the jury is still out there as to whether Einstein’s beliefs in the supernatural.

  • Happy Heathen

    Moderate
    June 26, 2012 • 4:49 pm

    That is not an ethical and/or moral statement.

    Gerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead used to come out with similar statements when he was on LSD trips.

    Furthermore, the jury is still out there as to whether Einstein really believed in the supernatural.

    • Moderate

      HH

      Following ethical and moral statement is very relevant to this article

      Mohandas Gandhi

      There is one rule, however, which should always be kept in mind while studying all great religions and that is that one should study them only through the writings of known votaries of the respective religions. For instance, if one wants to study the Bhagavata, one should do so not through a translation of it made by a hostile critic but one prepared by a lover of the Bhagavata. Similarly to study the Bible one should study it through the commentaries of devoted Christians. This study of other religions besides one’s own will give one a grasp of the rock-bottom unity of all religions and afford a glimpse also of the universal and absolute truth which lies beyond the ‘dust of creeds and faiths’.
      Let no one even for a moment entertain the fear that a reverent study of other religions is likely to weaken or shake one’s faith in one’s own. The Hindu system of philosophy regards all religions as containing the elements of truth in them and enjoins an attitude of respect and reverence towards them all. This of course presupposes regard for one’s own religion. Study and appreciation of other religions need not cause a weakening of that regard; it should mean extension of that regard to other religions.

      • Happy Heathen

        Mate,

        There is no point in writing here as you have not answered a single question I raised.

        In fact no one has, which proves my point in obsolescence of religion in the modern world.

        Not only you haven’t answered the central question on moral/ethics but also any of the subsequent questions…..do you believe in blood pressure?

        Have a good day sir!!!!

      • Moderate

        Dear HH

        To prove your point, the onus lies with you not with others. Following a religon is not required to live in this world. Religon fulfills the spiritual needs of a person as well as it gives a meaning and purpose beyond the realms of our mortal existence. There are many worldly benefits as well, such as good habits, a clean life etc. There is nothing incompatible with the so called modern scientific life. What is modern today is oudated tomorrow.

  • BalangodaMan

    This discussion caught my interest. However, it’s lacking the deep Yapa-ism that only Mr Yapa can offer, with proof from quantum physics and revelations in ancient chronicles.

    Where is my good friend Mr Yapa?

    • yapa

      Hi! BalangodaMan;

      Welcome back. Where have you been all this time? We missed you and SD a lot. It seems you have been out of touch of the blog for a long time, otherwise you wouldn’t have asked where I was. As usual I am omnipresent. Please be an active member of the discussion again.

      Thanks!

    • yapa

      On the other hand dear BalangodaMan, when I keep my hand on a discussion Groundviews decide to close down the thread. You can review what has happened in your absentia.

      Thanks!

  • Happy Heathen

    Moderate
    June 29, 2012 • 6:24 am

    Please provide an example of this…..

    “There are many worldly benefits as well, such as good habits, a clean life etc.”

    …. that cannot be performed by a non-believer

  • Moderate

    M K Gandhi was truly a man of peace and high moral, ethical and religous standing. His sayings are most relevant today, in this age of immorality and intolerance. The environment in which he lived, India, is the source and melting pot of many of the major religons.

    He says http://www.mkgandhi.org/religionmk.htm

    The Allah of Islam is the same as the God of Christians and the Ishwara of Hindus. Even as there are numerous names of God in Hinduism, there are many names of God in Islam. The names do not indicate individuality but attributes, and little man has tried in his humble way to describe mighty God by giving Him attributes, though He is above all attributes, Indescribable, Immeasurable.

    God’s Laws are eternal and unalterable and not separable from God Himself. The Buddha disbelieved in God and simply believed in Moral Law. Great as Buddha’s contribution to humanity was, in restoring God to His Eternal place, in my humble opinion, greater still was his contribution to humanity in his exacting regard of all life, be it ever so low.

    Religion should pervade every one of our actions. Here religion does not mean sectarianism. It means a belief in ordered moral government of the universe. It is not less real because it is unseen. This religion transcends Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc. It does not supersede them. It harmonises them and gives them reality.

    http://www.mkgandhi.org/ebks/ethical.pdf

    Recalling Gandhiji’s memorable summary of seven deadly sins, the following is a summary in similar style of a brief reflection on intolerance given at the Trivandrum conference on a Gandhian Alternative to a World Without Terrorism and War in February 2002.

    1. Intolerance is a personal failure to accept reality
    2. Intolerance is a failure of intelligence
    3. Intolerance is an error of judgment about Ultimate Truth
    4. Intolerance is an error which breeds psychological disorder
    5. Intolerance is an error which breeds social disorder
    6. Intolerance is an error which breeds political disorder
    7. Intolerance is a pragmatic failure: it doesn’t work

    So it is neccesary for all to tread the path of tolerance in order to ensure our success as a nation as well as on a personal level.

  • sabbe laban

    Yapa

    As you have made your presence felt here, I would like to ask you for your views on the following issues we discussed in the lengthy debate recently on http://groundviews.org/2012/05/10/no-longer-blind-no-longer-bound/#comments.(also called, “Religosity:the season-4”, according to some)

    If I remember right, your “victory” in the end was only thwarted by the unsolicited interference by the Ground Views, and your need to take time off to start your heavy weapons on the heretic forces in the world!

    I agree with what Happy Heathen says, with certain reservations, but my answers to the basic questions on life and the world can be summerized as follows:

    1. Is there a deeper meaning to life? No. We simply created that question.
    2. Is there a Creator? No. We simply created the creator.
    3. Does God play a role? Yes. In the minds of the weak and the helpless.

    Apart from these:

    Our reality is frame dependent; what Buddha said about our existence as “something beyond a frame” is also a frame dependent reality. It is no more true than that of an annihilationist’s view of the world.

    Hundreds of such illusionary ‘states of mind’ could exist and there may be many ways of achieving those, but those are merely projections of mind(another mysterious ability of our mind!)

    Until, proven otherwise, the above statement would stand!

    Life ends at death like a bubble of soap. There’s no need to build frames and construct concepts like afterlife, law of karma, heaven and hell.

    The above statement wouls stand until proven otherwise.

    In retrospect, Buddha was closer to the truth, when he said that the questions on origin were ‘unanswerable’. Yet, the question on the origin still remains in the human mind and it will be so in the time to come too.

    The ‘randomness’ which plays a major role in the origin of the universe is not taken as a valid one in any of the major religions including Buddhism.

    The ‘consciousness’ or awareness of self, seems to be another illusion of our mind and it appears to be nothing but the degree of complexity of a biological system. And also the difference between ‘conscious’ beings and ‘unconscious’ beings seems to disappear beyond a certain level of evolution.

    Science is self-corrective and it has been so, for so many hundreds of years. Religion is static and unchanging, and the believers seem to trip off trying to prove that their religion too has said something about (say Big Bang, evolution, or neuro science)it and their respective founders have, by divine power or omniscent knowledge told the same thing in rather vague terms!

    Are you ready for the “Season-5”?

    • yapa

      Dear Saban;

      Do you think I can fight in two battle fronts simultaneously? sharanga is sending me missiles without giving me a moments rest24x7. Do you think I can withstand your multi-barrel attack while in the missile rain?

      However, how can I refuse an invitation form you? But the problem is no idea what time the divine intervention will come. I think we must pray the almighty to be merciful on us to continue our innocent battle. God bless you and me.

      First of all I would like to pay my attention to your three point questions and give my opinion on them.

      1. Is there a deeper meaning to life?

      I don’t know.

      But according to Biology, the meaning of life is to make the life continue in generation to generation through reproduction. You know Biology better than me, I would like you to know your opinion on this.

      According to the religions of creation the purpose of human life is to control everything on earth as per the instruction of their father the God. The purpose of the lives of other animals is to act as a refrigerator to keep their flesh afresh until the humans want to consume them.

      For me the answer is I don’t know. Tell me how you knew your answer.

      2. Is there a Creator? No. We simply created the creator.

      I agree with you.

      3. Does God play a role? Yes. In the minds of the weak and the helpless.

      I tend to agree with you partly. If you take deities also as gods, I have no way to refuse their existence.

      You say, “Until, proven otherwise, the above statement would stand!”.

      No, in a debate two opposite parties hold two opposing view points. Its both parties responsibility to defend their view point and to refute the opposite view. In this case if one debating party is protected with a pre-determined body armour it is keeping that party at an advantageous position over the other party. How can I fight you in a impenetrable body armour even without a “bed jacket ” to cover my chest?

      It is both parties responsibility to protect their castles,only I have to protect my castle is unjustifiable.

      What you suggested is justifiable only in special cases. In this case your view has no merit over my view, before starting the battle.

      Now will come to the main points.

      You say, “Our reality is frame dependent; what Buddha said about our existence as “something beyond a frame” is also a frame dependent reality.”

      Tell me, what sound argument helped you to arrive at this conclusion?

      You say “Hundreds of such illusionary ‘states of mind’ could exist and there may be many ways of achieving those, but those are merely projections of mind”

      How did you eliminate the possibility that there could be different states of mind than you have mentioned above?

      You say, “Life ends at death like a bubble of soap.”

      Tell me how do you know this with a certainty?

      You say, “In retrospect, Buddha was closer to the truth, when he said that the questions on origin were ‘unanswerable’. Yet, the question on the origin still remains in the human mind and it will be so in the time to come too.”

      Really what Buddha said was it is no use to answer them, as it is irrelevant to his objective. On the other hand it seems that Buddha was of the view that it was not comprehensible by human minds.

      In general I agree with this conception.

      You say, “The ‘randomness’ which plays a major role in the origin of the universe is not taken as a valid one in any of the major religions including Buddhism.”

      I am not sure whether randomness is is a reality or the concept devised due to the difficulty of finding the causes of some of the events. We know that we have found reasons for almost all the uncomplicated events. We know that finding real causes for an effect is a difficult task, hence it is justifiable to hold my doubt, whether randomness exists due to the intellectual vulnerability of humans. I don’t think scientists have solved this mystery so far.

      Buddhism talks about Cause and Effect as valid, at least for the matters in its subject area. I am not sure whether Buddhism’s stance on other areas, whether it says Cause and Effect is applicable to all matters.

      You sat, “The ‘consciousness’ or awareness of self,….”

      That is the definition of the consciousness of the western tradition which believes consciousness is limited to humans. According to western tradition other animals other than humans have no consciousness, hence justifiable to kill them for human consumption. As the other animals cannot aware of self, in their definition, animals are without a consciousness.

      However, in Buddhism the equivalent term is “Vingnana” I think means “ability to know”. Vingnana=Vi+gnana.

      We know animals have an ability to know things though they cannot know self, or think about what they think. Hence in Buddhist definition, all the animals have a consciousness, hence it is unjustifiable to ill-treat them. Hence no killing or torture of any “being” is possible according to the Buddhist doctrine.

      The other religions allow killing animals only by negating their consciousness by its definition.

      You say, “The ‘consciousness’ or awareness of self, seems to be another illusion of our mind and it appears to be nothing but the degree of complexity of a biological system.”

      I don’t understand what you meant by the term illusion here. I think it is a vague usage here.

      However, I don’t think complexity is independent of consciousness as defined in Buddhism. Ability to know is “consciousness” that is the only mandatory requirement. The complexity may change the “degree of consciousness” but not the availability of consciousness.

      I think you got my argument.

      You say, “And also the difference between ‘conscious’ beings and ‘unconscious’ beings seems to disappear beyond a certain level of evolution.”

      There are no unconscious beings according to the definition in Buddhism. Anything without a consciousness is not a being according to classification in Buddhism. One should not get confused western concept of consciousness from consciousness in Buddhism.

      Many get confused, because they do not know this difference and apply each other in synonymously.

      I think issue you mention has no relevance to the Buddhist definition of consciousness.

      You say, “Science is self-corrective and it has been so, for so many hundreds of years.”

      This itself is a proof that science never ever can claim it is true.

      You say, “Religion is static and unchanging, and the believers seem to trip off trying to prove that their religion too has said something about (say Big Bang, evolution, or neuro science)it and their respective founders have, by divine power or omniscent knowledge told the same thing in rather vague terms!”

      Religions static nature is not a sufficient condition to prove they are true. However, if some doctrine or theory is true it cannot change.

      So, in this sense there is a possibility that there could be a religion that is true, as the religions are static, but you will never find science true, because it keeps on changing.

      You will never find a true religion, among a set of religions that keeps on changing. Therefore logically you still can have your hope there could be true religion, among the set of religions that are static.

      I don’t think Buddhism need help of science to stand on its feet. If so, Buddhism cannot be true, as per the logic discussed above. If science is not true, how can it prove the truthfulness of anything else?

      Thanks!

    • yapa

      Correction…….

      “However, I [don’t] think complexity is independent of consciousness as defined in Buddhism.”

      should be

      “However, I think complexity is independent of consciousness as defined in Buddhism.”

      Thanks!

      • sabbe laban

        Yapa

        Thank you for the reply! Yes, I noticed that you were waging another battle in a different thread, but I didn’t want to barge in there in the middle of cross-fire. On the other hand, the missles fired at you there looked like amaturish ones!

        In our quest for “truth”(if there is such thing in the first place!),I agree with your answer to the 1st question, “Idon’t know” as a valid one. Why I differ with you is for a reason. Life of all living beings change from the birth to the death and ends in death. This realization by a pampered prince called Siddartha is said to have led to his famous renunciation and the subsequent search for the thuth, 25 centuries ago.

        According to Buddha, the three main features of ‘constructed entities’ is: impermanence(anitta or change, the unsatisfactory quality of it(dukka) and lack of an undestructable elemant(soul) in it.

        As you see, Buddha too came to this stage and this realization, after observing the world philosophically, didn’t he? A soap bubble bursts once the forces that keep its film of water intact separate, doesn’t it? This is mine as well as Buddha’s observation!

        The entity called life keeps going until all the processes which support it keeps going and comes to an end once the balance between these is disrupted. This is the result of the condition or the law called ‘decay’ or change. Entropy keeps increasing only, and the reason for this is unexplainable;as per modern science or Buddha or an annihilationist called Ajitha Kesakambali!

        Why I said that Buddha made a ‘frame dependent reality’ to find a way out of this is thus: He concluded after further meditative contemplation(or by any other means unknown to us)that the cause lies for not only here in this birth, but in an endless cycle of birth-death-rebirth. He found the root cause for ‘becoming’ is greed and attachent to our sensory input, which in turn boils down to our ‘ignorance’ of the nature of the world.

        Now, in order to arrive at this conclusion, Buddha introduces the concept of karma and the endless cycle of birth-death-rebirth through a ‘sea of samsaara’ doesn’t he? This is what I called a ‘frame dependent reality’ because this cannot be verified or proven.

        I hope you got the crux of the matter here.

        As you say, the meaning of life can’t be reproduction, as it is not the only purpose intelligent life-forms like the humans pursue in their lives and further, some individuals seem to have no interest in it!

        According to you ‘beings’ have the ability to ‘know’ and therefore the trees don’t come under beings. Yet, they are living things! The trees too respond to stimuli, sometimes rather slowly but some times super quick(eg. venus fly-trap), and how do we know that they don’t have a consciousness?

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        Now it seems that you are well versed of the crux of the Buddhist doctrine “as a theory”. Many Buddhist followers follow it without this understanding I think, but for you I think it is an intellectual exercise. I think neither of them alone will properly see the objective set in the doctrine. In Buddhism people like you are equate to the people who know the prescription by heart but do not take that medicine to cure your ailment. Just because you know the medicine it does not make you relief from your suffering, the metaphour says you will have to swallow it, still knowing the medicine is also a good thing. You might swallow it one day, when you feel you want to cure your ailment.

        Now to your post.

        Agreeing with the ideas up to the statement given below in your post, I would like to begin my post with the same statement of yours.

        “The entity called life keeps going until all the processes which support it keeps going and comes to an end once the balance between these is disrupted.”

        I think the Buddha put forwarded the above idea in a more profound way.

        “Effects exist until their causes exist.”

        When the causes are not there effects cease to exist. It is relevant to existence of beings as well. If somebody wants to cease his existence, he will have to understand the causes of the existence and to do away with them.

        I think this is logically sound and that is the crux of the doctrine of the Buddha.

        Buddha pointed out some factors as causes of existence, and advised to do away with them if somebody wants to cease his existence. I think your problem now is whether the factors shown by the Buddha is correct or not. If they are not correct surely one cannot achieve this objective. I think this is the place we have to start our investigation if we want to see whether you find some truth in the doctrine. I think you have that intellectual capacity, and if you find what it says is true and also if you feel that you want to cease your existence, then you will have to follow what it says to follow you. Otherwise you will have to abandoned it.

        I think up to this point it is logically sound.

        Buddha has asked everybody to cut, chop, grind or do what ever you want to the dhamma he preached to ascertain whether it is true or not. No one is forced to accept it, or take it blindly by faith. In this scenario, I think you are more right than many Buddhists.

        I will continue……., I will have to stop this for the moment due to unavoidable circumstances.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        I answered a part of your post using a different computer than mine, however, it does not appear in my computer. I think it may appear after some time, when the Groundviews editors decide to publish in the thread. I will continue from where I stopped, however, if it does not appear, I will address that part again later.

        “The entity called life keeps going until all the processes which support it keeps going and comes to an end once the balance between these is disrupted. This is the result of the condition or the law called ‘decay’ or change. Entropy keeps increasing only, and the reason for this is unexplainable;as per modern science or Buddha or an annihilationist called Ajitha Kesakambali!”

        When the modern physicists suggested that the Laws of macro level Physics does not work in the subatomic world of and randomness reigns there instead, Einstein could not believe this “peculiar wonder” of the nature. The astonishment of Einstein to this unprecedented phenomena of nature was expressed from him as “God does not play dice”. You know what Neil Bhor’s sharp response to him? He said, “Einstein, don’t tell God what to do”. (please keep in mind both Einstein and Bhor has no much faith in creator god, but what they refer here as God was the nature.

        Dear Saban, do you think whole nature is there to be understood by you and me? In nature, I think some of the things we will have to accept as “that is the way it is”, I think you cannot demand for every reason, especially of the fundamental principles. Fundamental principles are so, because they are so. In Buddhism decay/change is a fundamental principle which comes under the “dhamma niyama” of “Pancha Niyama Dhammas (Cosmic Laws in Buddhism)”. A person’s change of appearance with his age I think cannot be (at least fully)explained in terms of chemistry. If so it can be stopped with chemical remedies. You cannot stop a person’s aging. It is a dhamma of nature. The reason for this is it is the dhamma nature. You might see this as a circular logic, but do you have a better answer? You may not be able to accept a circular logic as an answer, but Einstein too could not accept randomness as an answer to nature’s phenomena. I think Scientists too didn’t try to answer the question why entropy keeps increasing only.
        ……….

        “Why I said that Buddha made a ‘frame dependent reality’ to find a way out of this is thus: He concluded after further meditative contemplation(or by any other means unknown to us)that the cause lies for not only here in this birth, but in an endless cycle of birth-death-rebirth. He found the root cause for ‘becoming’ is greed and attachent to our sensory input, which in turn boils down to our ‘ignorance’ of the nature of the world.

        Now, in order to arrive at this conclusion, Buddha introduces the concept of karma and the endless cycle of birth-death-rebirth through a ‘sea of samsaara’ doesn’t he? This is what I called a ‘frame dependent reality’ because this cannot be verified or proven.”

        Dear Saban, I will tell you one of the main differences of Creator God believing religions and Buddhism.

        The laws of the other religions are inventions while the laws of Buddhism are discoveries.

        Inventions do not exist before they are invented, but discoveries are not so. You discover something existed before that. Newton did not invent his Laws of Motion, but Marconi invented Radio. Buddha discovered the laws prevailed in nature as Scientist do. Laws of Buddhism are not the products of Gauthama Buddha. It is said that all the Buddhas preach the same dhamma, because they are not made by Gauthama Buddha or Kakusanda or Konagama or Kassapa Buddhas. They are the laws of nature discovered by the Buddhas in different times. The Dhamma you listen has no the seal of Gauthama. I have seen some say, Buddhism is a man made religion, but just like Science (especially Physics)Buddhism represents a set of laws in a different sector of the nature. Hence, Buddhism is “not a theory” like theory of evolution, but you should call it a principle, a law or a theorem.

        These laws are discovered by Buddhas by direct experience of them, through mundane and transcendental “prathyakshas” (direct perception?), not through any secondary method of gaining knowledge like “inference”. So, Buddhism does not have “concepts” as you think. Concepts are constructs of mind, but dhamma is a direct realization, he directly perceived it though non mundane methods of Epistemology as well. But Buddha had to preach them to the mundane people, therefore through mundane epistemological methods, who cannot realize non mundane realities directly, hence seems weird to them. So, Saban, I think you also see them as “constructs”, as “concepts”. Buddha did not construct rebirth, or samsara or karma or nirvana or any other dhamma in Buddhism. They have been there in the nature, some of them had been discovered by some men with higher capabilities, but some were discovered only by the Buddha. Mundane epistemological methods cannot realize or understand them and see them as weird, the way Classical Physics see the laws of Quantum Physics weird. You also see Buddha’s dhamma as concepts Saban. they are not concept, only your mundane capacity allows you to see them as concepts. Buddha did not introduce any thing, he discovered and taught what he discovered.

        “This is what I called a ‘frame dependent reality’ because this cannot be verified or proven.”

        You are talking as if transcendental realities should be able to verified through mundane mundane methodologies. Inability to verify non mundane realities by mundane methodologies is not a reason to say non mundane realities as introduced concepts. You need non mundane methodologies to verify them. You have to learn non mundane epistemology. It is not available in western science.
        …..

        “According to you ‘beings’ have the ability to ‘know’ and therefore the trees don’t come under beings. Yet, they are living things! The trees too respond to stimuli, sometimes rather slowly but some times super quick(eg. venus fly-trap), and how do we know that they don’t have a consciousness?”

        I think you understand the simple logic, “though all beings are living things, all living things are not beings”. If haven’t killed your common sense by learning science, you don’t need my help to understand trees are not beings. I think this is a symptom of “Bookworm Syndrome”. Ha! Ha!!

        It is true that some trees react fast. When you out a piece of Sodium metal into water, water reacts it to very fast. Do you think water has a consciousness and water is a being? Bookworm syndrome????? ha1 Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        Can you say why a particle remains at rest or keeps on moving at a constant speed along a straight line unless a unbalanced force acts on it?

        Can you say why acceleration of a particle is proportional to the magnitude of the force and acceleration and the force are of the same direction?

        Can you say why reaction is equal and opposite to the action?

        Can you say when all the physical conditions are constant the volume of a fixed mass of gas is inversely proportional to its pressure?

        …………?????????? ———-> infinity.

        My answer is “that is the way it is”. Do you have any other answer(S)?

        Thanks!

      • sabbe laban

        Yapa

        I appreciate the considerble and genuine effort you have made to defend your position.

        You are right when you say that I don’t accept the circular logic in explaining decay. In the same way all the other scientific phenomena you cited can be broken down into a level, beyond which they become unanswerable.

        One way out of this problem is the following hypothsis.(mind you, it is a hypothesis!) The laws of the universe appear to be what they are, simply because our universe evolved in this particular way, for us to observe them like this! If the universe evolved in another way those laws would have been different eg. entropy would decrease and you would be able to un-break a tea cup or un-crack an egg! A further extension of this hypothesis suggests that, there in fact may exist millions of such universes beyond our reach, because there is no reason that a universe should evolve in one particular way!

        In spite of ALL what you say, the fact remains that Buddha’s ‘discovery’ of the ‘laws of the nature’ is one such hypothesis only. I was not right when I said earlier that Buddha introduced karma and rebirth into his model of reality;in fact those concepts were already there at his time and he simply incorporated them into his doctrine. To explain why beings are born, he used the concepts of karma and endless cycles of birth-death-rebirth in a sea of becoming,(in an explanation, that was somwhat different from the Vedic tenets), yet the fact remains, that it was yet another hypothesis. Where is the proof to say that is not so? How can it be any better than an annihilationist’s hypothesis, or the above hypothesis on the universe? The annihilationist’s view too expalins the problem existence equally well, doesn’t it?

        —————————
        I don’t think for a moment that you have mistaken the reaction of Sodium with water or lightening for signs of life! I hope that you are aware of the fact that a plant is made up of living cells, and when the living cells respond to a stimulus, why can’t you say that it doesn’t have a consciousness?

        Unless of course, the concept of consciousness itself is a falty one, as I suggested right along!

      • sabbe laban,

        In order to not sound amateurish, should I sound like you, which means I should sound like Yoda?

      • sabbe laban,

        Since you think my missles are amateurish, please take few seconds to answer the following. You said,

        “Our reality is frame dependent; what Buddha said about our existence as “something beyond a frame” is also a frame dependent reality.”

        and then later,

        “In our quest for “truth”(if there is such thing in the first place!)…”

        So, do you deny objective reality?

      • I have to rephrase the question.

        Q: Do you doubt the existence of objective reality?

      • yapa
      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “Objective reality”?????

        Your are still believing outdated Newtonian stuff.

        World has changed a lot since then.

        Have you heard about Rip Van Winkle?

        Tanks!

      • sabbe laban

        suranga

        I don’t think you and I have anything to fight about! What you were saying in the other thread, in fact makes sense, and reading them I started to think that I am not alone in the battle against the ‘dark forces’ in the universe!

        What I called “amaturish” was the way you sometimes put forward your arguments to expose yourself to a seasoned campaigner like yapa, who has a thicker skin than an allegator! Don’t take offence on this!lol

        Finally, to answer your question, what we call “truth” is frame dependent! If you remember Einstein’s famous thought experiment of a man ‘flashing’ a light to be observed by two observers who are standing in the front of the train, and the rear of the train, how would it appear to an observer who is on the platform? To him the light will reach the observer in the back of the train before it reaches the man in the front, whereas to an observer who is on the train, it is simultaneous! If I ask you, whose reality is ‘real’, what’s the answer you can give?

      • sabbe laban

        Yapa

        I hope you’ll be kind enough to answer me when you are not so busy!

      • Sabbe laban,

        However amateurish I might be, I have cornered Yapa in both debates I have had with him, and forced him to act like a child out of embarassment, like saying things to the effect that I have a GPA less than that of a donkey.

        Now, even though you and I can agree on many things, I don’t think I can agree with your view about reality. Einstein’s relativity hardly challenges objective reality. We may look at reality from different frames. But reality is what it is. Einsten’s equations are not dependent on an observer, on a consciousness, or a mind. They are objectively true. Inside space-time, things can be relative, but the space-time itself is thought to be objective.

        The closest modern science came to rejecting objective reality was when “Copenhagen Interpretation” of quantum mechanics was introduced. But then, this interpretation has been steadily loosing ground to the “many world interpretation”, which postulates an objective reality. Now, I think many world interpretation is the obvious and straightforward explanation for quantum mechanical experiments and calculations. I think all those consciousness-causes-collapse interpretations are retarded because they need mental properties to be reatrded among other things.

        Now, I don’t know whether you subscribe to copenhagen interpretation, or any other consciousness-causes-collapse interpretations. Apart from that, you can hardly deny objective reality. Einstein’s equations are objectively correct. Schrodinge’s cat is either dead or alive in a particular quantum universe, not both dead and alive in the same quantum universe.

        If there is an objective reality, a proposition is either true ir false. The two men in the train will perceive reality in two ways. But the same equations would explain what both of them are seeing. Just because the two men has two frames through which they see reality, it doesn’t mean they see two realities where the sane einstein equations would work. They are seeing the same reality, same space-time continuum, where the einstein equations work. I don’t know how you get the idea that the two observers are looking at different realities. That kind of thing is possible only according to some interpretations of quantum mechanics.

        If you believe the many world interpretation, which is the most straightforward and obvious interpretation in my opinion, which looks like it is going to make the copenhagen interpretation obsolete, you can get rid of all those crazy things and believe in a reality where there are many quantum universes, that are objectively real.

      • Small correction.

        Consciousness-causes-collapse interpretations are retarded because they require mental properties to be ontologically basic, among other things.

      • Yapa,

        You can call me Rip Van or whatever you like. But obviously you don’t know much about science or philosophy. I mean, you seriously thought non-physical things have physical manifestations. This would be possible if reality itself gave definitions, so by definition, physical manifestations of non-physical things won’t factor in ou equations. Then again, reality doesn’t give definitions.

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “You can call me Rip Van or whatever you like. But obviously you don’t know much about science or philosophy.”

        Do you know Science and Philosophy?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        I think at the very fundamental level Science has no answer the question “why”, what science does at that level is describing the nature (natures laws) avoiding the question “why”. I think if Science decided first to answer that question before describing the nature, Science wouldn’t have come this far. Any way, I think now you accept science accept many things without knowing why. This shows that science is not the complete and perfect knowledge system as many think. (I would like to talk on this and show that how science is becoming more and more weak in its epistemological value or as a tool of finding truth.)

        You say,

        “One way out of this problem is the following hypothsis.(mind you, it is a hypothesis!) The laws of the universe appear to be what they are, simply because our universe evolved in this particular way, for us to observe them like this! If the universe evolved in another way those laws would have been different…”

        Even though breaking hypothesis is easy, I don’t think forming hypothesis is not so. Why do you think forming a hypothesis to out of a problem is necessary at all? On the other hand why do you think that getting out of a problem gives you the answer to the central issue? Why don’t you think that there could be problems without answers, against the popular belief? Why did you believe all those laws of science I mentioned when the problem of “why” was not solved? If existing a problem is a reason for not to accept something, you cannot accept science at all. On the other hand though a hypothesis helps to get out of the problem, it doesn’t ensure that there is a reason to form that hypothesis.

        What is the good reason you have to assume that there is a possibility that universe can evolve in another way than the way it has evolved? Why can’t it be the only way to evolve the universe? How do you say that “there is no reason that a universe should evolve in one particular way!”

        Really we don’t know, but we like build hypothesis on what we don’t know, isn’t it Saban? That statement of yours cannot be a “self evident truth”.

        Now you say,

        “In spite of ALL what you say, the fact remains that Buddha’s ‘discovery’ of the ‘laws of the nature’ is one such hypothesis only.”

        Tell me how you arrived at this conclusion? I think it is convenient and advantageous thinking for your belief. Is there any other reason for you to believe so?

        “I was not right when I said earlier that Buddha introduced karma and rebirth into his model of reality;in fact those concepts were already there at his time and he simply incorporated them into his doctrine. To explain why beings are born, he used the concepts of karma and endless cycles of birth-death-rebirth in a sea of becoming,(in an explanation, that was somwhat different from the Vedic tenets), yet the fact remains, that it was yet another hypothesis.”

        Fact remains it is a hypothesis? Don’t you think it is an arbitrary assumption of yours? What evidence support it rather than popular beliefs based on popular thinking?

        On the other hand all of the things you have mentioned including karma, cycle of rebirth had been known before the Buddha. Really Buddha’s discovery was “Four Noble Truths”, which was not known by others before the Buddha.

        “Where is the proof to say that is not so? How can it be any better than an annihilationist’s hypothesis, or the above hypothesis on the universe? The annihilationist’s view too expalins the problem existence equally well, doesn’t it?”
        annihilationists’ view does not explain the problem of existence equally well. It is a simple “negative theory”. The nature of that theory is to refuse and deny things. The popular wrong belief that no evidence is required to refuse or deny things is the reason for the “virginity” of this theory. It doesn’t say mush, so it doesn’t have much to be wrong or to be doubted. That is the advantage of this theory to be shown as a profound theory. Less shortcomings alone is not the attribute of a good theory. On the other hand existing difficult to understand things in a complex theory is not a reason to take it as a weak theory as well. Relativity is a theory full of mathematical formula which can only be understood by a few.Do you think simple social science theories or political science theories are better than the theory of relativity?

        Complexity of Buddhism or its difficulty to understand is not a reason to equate it with simple annihilationists’ view. The most simplest theory of the existence is the the theory of creation.

        “I don’t think for a moment that you have mistaken the reaction of Sodium with water or lightening for signs of life!”

        NO, the other way round. I even do not recognize everything made up of living cells to have consciousness.

        I think you really do not need me to provide many evidence to accept that plants do not have consciousness. Otherwise, you will not recognize two subjects known as “Botany” and “Zoology” in science. Why flora and fauna in science? Tell me the criteria to distinguish Botany from Zoology in Science. Do you consider Botany=Zoology?

        “I hope that you are aware of the fact that a plant is made up of living cells, and when the living cells respond to a stimulus, why can’t you say that it doesn’t have a consciousness?”

        The most important thing in epistemological process is not to identify similarities, but to identify subtle differences. Many are deficient in this capability. Many in this forum too say that all religions say the same thing. They hardly see even the obvious differences.

        “Unless of course, the concept of consciousness itself is a falty one, as I suggested right along!”

        Dear Saban, do you too believe that denying is a good way to solve something in your favour?

        Thanks!

      • sabbe laban

        sharanga

        What you say, in other words is that there is an objective reality;but we perceive it differently depending on our frame of reference, right?

        On the other hand, if there is an objective reality, are we in a position to know that ‘reality’ due to our being dependent on a frame? How do we know that what we see as ‘objective reality’ is, not yet another frame?

        For an example, in the example of Einstein’s train, if we all are passengers on the train(like the two observers) is there a way for us to know that there is another reality for an outside observer? The basic question I asked remains unanswered doesn’t it? What is the ‘real’ reality? Ehether it’s the observer’s reality who is on the platform or ours? An equivalent situation can be cited with regards to the String Theory where 11 dimensions exist, as the things stand now. Our reality which we would consider to be ‘objective’, may be just one small ‘membrane’ of the whole thing, which we may never fully comprehend!

        If you take another example, the quamtum particles seem to change their history once you observe them; isn’t this contrary to our reality?

        If you take another example, the entangled particles seem to communicate over vast distances instantaneously;doesn’t this break down the ‘reality’ of Einstein’s theory?

        Who wrote the laws of physics? If there are more universes than the number of stars in our universe, each one of them would have evolved according to its own laws;and there are countless such laws! In one such universe things may appear suddenly and disappear suddenly, or things may age in the reverse order! Can we say that our set of laws of physics is the only reality?

        Having said all that, I don’t still consider it futile to find the answers to these questions, as much as we can, in the way we know!

      • sabbe laban

        Yapa

        As I see a new post of yours, I don’t think that you are short of time at all!

        This is the second reminder, Sir!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        Do you have anything against my proof, that there is no objective reality?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        “One way out of this problem is the following hypothsis.(mind you, it is a hypothesis!) The laws of the universe appear to be what they are, simply because our universe evolved in this particular way, for us to observe them like this! If the universe evolved in another way those laws would have been different eg. entropy would decrease and you would be able to un-break a tea cup or un-crack an egg! A further extension of this hypothesis suggests that, there in fact may exist millions of such universes beyond our reach, because there is no reason that a universe should evolve in one particular way!”

        Saban, don’t tell god what to do. Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Deae Saban;

        “As I see a new post of yours, I don’t think that you are short of time at all!

        This is the second reminder, Sir!”

        The fact that I have time to chew some betel doesn’t mean that I have time to answer your “mighty posts”. Really I am a bit busy. Still I don’t make it a point not to answer you.

        Einstein, don’t misunderstand me. Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • I ask you not to bring in String theory into this discussion. As of now, it’s still an unconfirmed theory.

        For a moment, forget about quantum mechanics as well. Concentrate on the theory of relativity alone, which is the only theory you had put forward when I asked you whether you deny objective reality.

        The only requirement for objective reality is that there exists things, independently of the mind. The only requirement for objective reality is that there must be something outside your mind. It doesn’t matter whether there is multiple universes. It doesn’t matter whether their are different laws of physics in those universes (many world interpretations actually requires all the universes to branch and decohere. but never mind). The only requirement for objective reality is that things should exist outside and independently of the mind.

        Now I ask you, and expect you to answer the following questions.

        1. Does the equation E=mc^2 dependent on a particular mind recognizing it as E=mc^2 according to the general theory of relativity?

        2. Does the fact that speed of light is constant depend upon a mind recognizing that the speed of light is constant, according to the general theory of relativity?

        3. Does the existence of space-time continuum dependent upon a mind according to the general theory of relativity?

        Please answer those questions. I expect answers from you.

        You are saying that since the two observers are looking from two different frames of reference, they are looking at two realities. Therefore the fourth question,

        4. If they actually see two different realities, do those two realities exist in two space-time continuums, according to the theory of general relativity?

        Further,

        5. Does the moon exist when no one is looking at it, according to the relativity theory? (Incidentally, this is a question asked by Einstein from Neils Bohr)

        Now to answer your question “What is the ‘real’ reality? Ehether it’s the observer’s reality who is on the platform or ours?”

        This is very much like asking which reality is true. You can ask is earth true. But both those questions are meaningless. Only a proposition can be either true or false.

        So the proposition “Event-A happens from FrameofReference-X” is either true or false. “Event-B happens from FrameofReferenceY” is either true or false. The truth of those propositions do not depend on a consciousness, according to the theory of relativity.

        Now, let us look at your quantum physical question.

        If you take another example, the quamtum particles seem to change their history once you observe them; isn’t this contrary to our reality?

        This question can be asked only by someone who subscribe to old-fashioned interpretations quantum mechanics that talks about the wavefunction collapse, such as the Copenhagen Interpretaion. If you instead believe a something like Many World Interpretation, which makes a lot of use of decoherence, and deny wavefunction collpase, this observer changes quantum paricles history won’t bother you anymore. And, as I said earlier, Many World Interpretation is the most straightforward and obvious interpretation of quantum mechanics, and it has been steadily gaining ground versus copenhagen and consciousness-causes-collapse interpretations.

        Who wrote the laws of physics? If there are more universes than the number of stars in our universe, each one of them would have evolved according to its own laws;and there are countless such laws!

        Not really. They all branch and decohere, according to the Many World Interpretation. That’s the whole point. Quantum Mechanics works in all those universes according to the way described in Many World Interpretation.

        If you take another example, the entangled particles seem to communicate over vast distances instantaneously;doesn’t this break down the ‘reality’ of Einstein’s theory?

        This question requires a detailed explanation, which I would give you as soon as I can.

      • Yapa,

        Your so-called proof against objective reality is retarded. Your proof is as follows,


        For Einstein,

        1. Space is not absolute, dimensions of an object is changed with the velocity.

        2. Time is not absolute, the speed of the flow of time can vary with speed. (Eg:- twin paradox)

        3. Mass is not absolute, mass of an object changes with speed. (If we send a thing at the speed of light the mass of the body becomes infinity.)

        4. Gravity is not objective (can change with acceleration)

        So, the composition of them is not objective.

        The obvious question that follows is,
        Q: What about the E=mc^2 equation?

        But anyway, I don’t expect someone like you, who cannot even identify he has fallen into a mind projection fallacy, would be able to realize that equations of relativity consider themselves to be objectively real. You didn’t even realize the speed of light is absolute, and that is objectively true, whether there is an observer to observe it or not.

        Anyway, I’d rather not argue with a child about physics.

      • Sabbe laban,

        If you take another example, the entangled particles seem to communicate over vast distances instantaneously;doesn’t this break down the ‘reality’ of Einstein’s theory?

        I was wondering whether I should write down the proof of “no communication theorem” here to prove that no communication (flow of information) between those entangled particles actually happen. But the math is pretty clear and you could learn it from anywhere. Here’s the link to the Wikipedia page,

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-communication_theorem

        Now, this theorem is a mathematical one, and it is true no matter what interpretation of QM that you believe. Anyway, I’ll try to explain it according to Many World Interpretation, without getting too technical.

        What measurement does is it decoheres your world. It splits it into many non communicating worlds. This creates sort of an uncertainty as to which of several versions of yourself you are. Learning which version you are doesn’t tell you anything about a previous unknown thing that was always there in the system. I don’t know how to explain this any more clearly than this without talking about particle polarization, filters, bell’s theorem and what not.

        The point is, you might think QM allows communication over vast distances instantaneously, violating relativity. But the no-communication theorem proves that this doesn’t actually happen.

      • sabbe laban

        Yapa

        Thank you for the reply!

        Why can’t you apply what you say about multi-universe theory to what Buddha is supposed to have said about sansaara?

        How do you know, that there is a law of karma and there are endless birth-death-rebirth cycles? What is your proof?

        …………………………

        For your information the clear-cut boundary between botany and zoology disappears in the world of micro-organisms;and that’s why they are included in both subjects.

        At what level of complexity does a being acquire a “consciousness”, according to you? You can take examples from some members of the family Protista and show us! If you are unable to do so, I’ll take some examples and ask you whether they have a “consciousness” or not, and the reasons for your answer!

      • yapa

        Dear sharanga;

        “The two men in the train will perceive reality in two ways. But the same equations would explain what both of them are seeing. Just because the two men has two frames through which they see reality, it doesn’t mean they see two realities where the sane einstein equations would work.”

        Tell me that Einstein’s equation, which would explain what both of them are seeing.

        “If you believe the many world interpretation, which is the most straightforward and obvious interpretation in my opinion, which looks like it is going to make the copenhagen interpretation obsolete, you can get rid of all those crazy things and believe in a reality where there are many quantum universes, that are objectively real.”

        You think something becomes objective when you “baptize” it? Is that the reason you baptized “many world interpretation”?

        Tell me how, “many quantum universes” provides an objective reality? I think such a theory would suggests the opposite. As Saban said in one of the universes entropy would decrease in opposition to our universe. Here in that case there will not be any objectivity even for “entropy”.

        Are you writing/telling anything that comes to your mouth? I cannot think of your bravery.

        Anyway do you still think there is a objective reality, in spite of the nature of the universe (whether it is multi universe or not) as you claimed at the beginning?

        Thanks!

      • sabbe laban

        Yapa

        I must say the question you ask sharanga regarding ‘objectivty’ is absolutely profound! In spite of the differences I have with you, I must congratulate you for asking it so elegantly!

      • sabbe laban

        sharanga

        Thank you for the reply and promoting the view of your school! Well, if you are not open minded, you’ll only act like a Scientific Mullah, or a Commanding Officer of Science Corps! For instance when Peter Higgs proposed his theory 48 years ago, he was ridiculed by many famous scientists at thee time including Werner Heisenberg! Unfortunately, the authorities of science have become an instrument of supression of new ideas, rather than a neutral judge!

        Getting back to your answers, I don’t know why you don’t want to go into the matters in quantum physics, because quantum mechanics is not an imaginary science, and in fact it has passed every test repeatedly!

        As far as I know, when you observe a particle just before an event(like, just before it makes a pattern on a screen) it changes its history! In other words if you observe the light coming from a star 100 million light years away, the light seems to change its history instantly, even though it was emitted so many years ago. This means the present event has in fact changed an event that occured in the past, isn’t it?

        Further, in the quantum world, there seems to be no law that prevents a system from going from A to B in time as well as from B to A, back in time. Yet, this doesn’t seem to happen in our reality, because entropy seems to follow the ‘arrow of time’! What is the reality in a universe where entropy doesn’t have to abey this behavior? Is it the same?

        Also, if there are multiple universes, they need not have to be branched out from one; they can be independent, like the stars in the sky, evolving in EVERY POSSIBLE way they could, because a quantum particle moves in every possible way(and any universe, for that matter has been a quantum particle, initially!)

        As per your answer to my question on Einstein’s train, I’m still not convinced with your answer. “Reality” is different to the two observers means, that their perception of reality is not the same. If one says that a man died befor he was shot and the other says it’s after, aren’t these two realities? I don’t mind which school you belong to(Copanhegan or ‘Stokholm’), I belong to none! Perhaps, due to that reason alone, I may see things differently!

      • yapa

        Wonderful sharanga! Wonderful!!

        We were talking about the objectivity of reality. Not about components of reality. Everybody knows that there are components of reality that could be true. Unlike giving examples like you I can rationally prove it. However, it does not mean that the reality (total reality) is objective. Though this was not mentioned word by word, it was implicitly implied when I said, the objectivity of the universe is broken when “free will” exists.

        Anyway, it seems you want to avoid me putting your “childish argument” forward.

        I think this is the first instance you answer a question of mine, after you went wild, “after you thought you won the game”. Will you answer the other questions as well.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Why dear sharanga you are only concentrating on “communication of entangled particles”?

        If you want to establish reality is objective you will have to dispute all the arguments Saban put forward, not just one.

        On the other hand you rely on your premise on a “speculation” in disputing even entangled communication. Who told you that “many universe concept” is a “true premise?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        I would like to draw your attention to the following statement of the recent post of our friend PP.

        “The concept of creator god and the foundation of Buddhism are both stand on premises, which can not be empirically proven. One is ‘God exists’. The other is ‘Punarbhava’ (reincarnation). Although they both are beyond the sensory perception of majority of men they both can be proven with ‘rational’ argument, which has been done in the past by various philosophers e.g. Kant.”

        Any way, I will have to presume that PP is unaware of the fact that very “rational arguments” disprove the existence of creator god beyond any doubt or that fact is against his “value system”.

        Please remove that particular part from the PP’s statement and read what I have been telling you from the very inception, about Buddhism. Rational arguments +coherence and consistence.

        Every thing in no theory can be proven with rationality alone. Some have to be proven with the consistency of them with rationally proven things. I do not ask you to do a favour to Buddhism going out of this norm. I am asking you to treat Buddhism too within the accepted norm.

        Under this norm, can you ask each and every doctrine in Buddhism to be proven rationally?

        It is totally unnecessary.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        “For your information the clear-cut boundary between botany and zoology disappears in the world of micro-organisms;and that’s why they are included in both subjects.”

        We will see when that boundary disappears. Only the perspectives of the concern of scientists (materialists) will disappear. Not the concerns of all including philosophers. Holistic concern do you think will disappear. Self satisfaction of scientists is not the satisfaction of all. Without disproving consciousness they cannot satisfy all, but only themselves. They can deceive themselves.

        “At what level of complexity does a being acquire a “consciousness”, according to you? You can take examples from some members of the family Protista and show us! If you are unable to do so, I’ll take some examples and ask you whether they have a “consciousness” or not, and the reasons for your answer!”

        I don’t what level of complexity, really it is not necessary for Buddhist classification of Beings. All those who possess a consciousness is a being immaterial of its size, where it lives. I would like to draw your attention to the stanza of “karaniya metta sutta” once I had referred to you in a previous discussion. “Yekecji pana bhuthathi……”

        Thanks!

      • Yapa,

        “Tell me that Einstein’s equation, which would explain what both of them are seeing.”

        Don’t you understand the concept of variables. Do you think Eistein wrote infinite number of Lorentz transformation equations for each frame of reference, which are infinite? It’s a series of equations, with variables that you can change based on you frame of reference. That’s the whole point of an equations.

        Now, a lot of your confusion begins from thinking that relativity explains what you are seeing/perceiving from each frame of reference. Yes, it does explain that too. But what the observer sees is real. It’s not an optical illusion. It really happens, and it happens whether the observer is present or not. In other words, the theory of relativity is not observer dependent. Consider your own comment,


        1. Space is not absolute, dimensions of an object is changed with the velocity.
        2. Time is not absolute, the speed of the flow of time can vary with speed. (Eg:- twin paradox)
        3. Mass is not absolute, mass of an object changes with speed. (If we send a thing at the speed of light the mass of the body becomes infinity.)
        4. Gravity is not objective (can change with acceleration)

        Now I ask you, is any of this dependent on an observer seeing them? In othet words, are any of this mind-dependent?

        If you know anything about relativity, the answer is NO. Relativity is a classical physics theory in disguise. It is not mind blowingly counterintuitive like QM.

        Space is not absolute. Is this dependent on a mind? No. Space will be not absolute even if there’s no mind in the universe to observe it.

        Time is not absolute. But is this dependent on mind? No. Time is not absolute even if there is no mind to observe it.

        Same can be said about mass and gravity.

        Incidentally, if you think this space, time, mass etc being relative and not absolute indicates that there is no objective reality, then the fact that the speed of light is absolute is an absolute truth and it’s objectively real.

        But then, I would say that only if I was confused, like you. Yes, speed of light is absolute. Does it become objectively real because it’s absolute? No. It becomes objectively real because it is what it is without being dependent on a mind.

        Think about sabbe laban’s claim that multiple observers see multiple realities. Well, they don’t see multiple realities, but for the time being let’s say they do. Are those realities dependent on the observer’s mind? No. This is not QM. Observer’s mind doesn’t play any part here. Further, the meta-reality that includes all those sabbe laban realities, is it mind-dependent? No. It’s just what it is.

        In a single sentence, according to relativity, the moon is there regardless whether we are here to look at it.

        Now, you seem to have few questions about Many World Interpretation. But first let me tell something about consciousness-causes-collapse interpretations. Consciousness-causes-collapse interpretations are retarded, but most of them are realist. Consciousness-causes-collapse interpretations deny objective reality since according to them, reality is dependent on the observer. But they don’t deny reality itself. The consciousness is real. The amplitude is real. The collapse is real.

        You get to many world interpretations. The modern version of it heavily uses decoherence, which was mainly developed after the 1980s. The thing about many world interpretation is that it doesn’t require the wave function to collapse. The wave function is objectively real. It’s existence is not mind-dependent. There may be infinite number if universes adhering to QM laws. But the reality that contains all those universe is the non-collapsing wave function and it is objectively real. The existence of the wave function is not dependent on any mind. It is just there.

        Tell me how, “many quantum universes” provides an objective reality? I think such a theory would suggests the opposite

        I think my last paragraph answered this.


        As Saban said in one of the universes entropy would decrease in opposition to our universe. Here in that case there will not be any objectivity even for “entropy”.

        This is simply not true. In the multiverse, there is no communication between universe. Affairs in one world doesn’t affect affairs in another. Similarly, it doesn’t violate the conservation of energy thing either.

        Are you writing/telling anything that comes to your mouth? I cannot think of your bravery.

        Yes, what else am I supposed to do? Write whatever that comes to Nalin de Silva’s mouth like you do? But then, to his credit, Nalin knows relativity is a classical theory.

        Anyway do you still think there is a objective reality, in spite of the nature of the universe (whether it is multi universe or not) as you claimed at the beginning?

        Well, yes, and it will be so until some future theory disproves it. All of us live as if there is an objective reality. I won’t find you jumping off a building trying to out-believe gravity.

  • yapa

    “Prophet not perfect, says Sri Lankan Islamic scholar”

    http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/prophet-not-perfect-says-sri-lankan-islamic-scholar/

    I think this is good point to start discussion held under the article , No Longer Blind, No longer Bind” again.

    Don’t know what (those)Islam champions have to say about this?

    Thanks!

  • fazal davood

    Natalie, this is a very good attempt. I would like you to take this photo essay and go deep into why people from religion visit each other place of worship. A video commentary will help

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Yapa,

    I have one question for you. Has the Buddha denied the existance of a creator god in any of his discourses?

    • yapa

      Dear PitastharaPuthraya;

      Yes, in Agganna Sutta and Brahmajala Sutta he specifically denied it.

      Thanks!

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Dear Yapa,

        Thanks, If you have time can you quote from them the relevant sections for the ignorants.

      • sabbe laban

        Yapa

        You are wrong!

        In Agganna Sutta Buddha neither says there is a creator nor does he deny it! According to the account found here, the life started on Earth with the ‘migration’ of divine beings from a Brahma abode called ‘Abhassara’. It doesn’t say whether those Abassara brahma beings were created or not!

        In Bhahmajala Sutta, Buddha describes 62 different errorneous perceptions(or doctrines) of the nature of life. These belong to either eternism or materialism. Here the main focus of Buddha is on the notion of eternal soul and various versions of it. In nowhere does he touch on the issue of a creator in the whole length of it!

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        If my memory is correct, I am not wrong. Anyway let me go through them before I comment.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Saban/PitastharaPuthraya;

        Anyway my reason to reject creator god was not that it was mentioned in Buddhism. It was purely based on rational arguments. Averroes, and Epicurus’ arguments and the infinite regress created by the creator god were the main specific reasons. On the other hand many fallacies implied by the creator god concept (both logical and empirical)disprove that concept much better than the way Buddhism does it. Really the aim of the Buddha in preaching those Suttas was not to disprove the creator god. It was just a “side effect” of them.

        Thanks!

      • PitastharaPuthraya

        Dear Yapa,

        I asked that question from you with a reason. The Buddha had not confirmed or denied the existance of a creator god for a reason. Since he had not told us why he did that, I take the liberty to speculate. The reasons I can think of are 1. He did not have means to confirm or deny the exitance of a creator god, like most of us. 2. The knowledge of the existance or not of a creator god is immaterial to his teaching.

        The concept of creator god and the foundation of Buddhism are both stand on premises, which can not be empirically proven. One is ‘God exists’. The other is ‘Punarbhava’ (reincarnation). Although they both are beyond the sensory perception of majority of men they both can be proven with ‘rational’ argument, which has been done in the past by various philosophers e.g. Kant.

        While accepting the Buddha’s doctrine of human existance with ‘four noble truths’, Arya Ashtangika Marga’,’Punarbhava’ and ‘Karma’ etc is a logical explanation with a feeling of a ‘jigsaw’ puzzle it can not be denied that it is based on one single metaphysical principle, which is ‘punarbhava, which is can not be confirmed empirically.

        The concept of a creator god is alos based on extra-sensory acceptance of the fact ‘god exists’. Then everything follows logically like a jigsaw puzzle as in Buddhism.

        Science on the other hand based on sound empirical evidence, which can be tested by anyone who has the necessary equipments and knowledge. The recent discovery of ‘Higg’s Boson’ at CERN is a very good example of the uniqueness of the science.

        Although Higg’s theoretical speculation of Higg’s Boson 28 years ago can be compared to ‘a priori’ knowlege of ‘god’ or ‘punarbhava’ it is in fact a ‘a posteriori’ knowledgge because such theorization is invariably the result of previous empirical knowledge.

        Ignorance makes human to speculate and theorize. The God, Punarbhava, Nirvana, Karma, Soul etc are all products of human imagination. They have remained as just imagination since their ‘discovery’ for thousands of years and would remain the same way as long as humans exists. These debates whether god exists or whether ‘punarbhava’ ‘karma’, ‘nirvana’ etc exist would go on until we vanish from the universe.

      • sabbe laban

        Yapa

        “If my memory is correct, I am not wrong”

        Maybe your memory is fading! Why do you rely on your fading memory, when you can directly quote from the relevent sutras?

      • yapa

        Dear Saban;

        “Maybe your memory is fading!”

        I don’t think. Opposite also could be right.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear PitastharaPuthraya:

        Except three points in your post it seems I can agree with all others.

        1. Really as I also have pointed out the aim of Buddhist doctrine is not to prove or disprove the existence of god. However, your premature conclusion that “The Buddha had not confirmed or denied the existance of a creator god” even without checking what I cited (Agganna Sutta and Brahmajala Sutta)is I don’t think can be considered as correct. there could be a very few chance, they do not deny the existence of a creator. I had no any doubt about it until Saban queried about it. But don’t be hasty, I am pretty sure it is mentioned in those suttas. Let me check, by the way are you sure it is not mentioned in those suttas, which is your premise of your argument?

        2. I myself have amply said that god, Nirvana etc cannot be proved or disproved in terms of empirical evidence as you said. Also like you I had said that rationalism can tackle even “most of the non material entities and phenomena”.

        It is true that Buddhist concepts like nirvana, rebirth etc. etc. can be proven rationally considering consistency and coherence of the totality. That was the my very argument I put forward in my discussion with Saban. You put forward the same argument in another set of words “The concept of a creator god is alos based on extra-sensory acceptance of the fact ‘god exists’. Then everything follows logically like a jigsaw puzzle as in Buddhism.”

        However, dear PP you will have to take out “creator god” from that list. Unlike other things you have mentioned in your list his existence has been disproved rationally. This I have “proven” my self several times in this blog and mentioned about it in this very discussion in a post address to you.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/06/18/sons-of-one-religion/#comment-46352

        You should not omit the facts I have forwarded, when you reply me. I think then a discussion always goes back to “square one”.

        3. You say “The God, Punarbhava, Nirvana, Karma, Soul etc are all products of human imagination.”

        I put to you that this is only a “favourable imagination” to your theory. Do you have any rational or empirical evidence to back this statement?

        I am amazed of many peoples’ bravery of producing (general)conclusions.

        Dear PP;Don’t tell god what to do. Please observe him and describe what he does like Newton did.

        Thanks!

  • Omi Gosh

    Dear Yapa,

    “Many Buddhist followers follow it without this understanding I think, but for you I think it is an intellectual exercise. I think neither of them alone will properly see the objective set in the doctrine. In Buddhism people like you are equate to the people who know the prescription by heart but do not take that medicine to cure your ailment. Just because you know the medicine it does not make you relief from your suffering, the metaphour says you will have to swallow it, still knowing the medicine is also a good thing. You might swallow it one day, when you feel you want to cure your ailment.”

    Enjoyed your contribution: thanks for that. The above quote is the crux of the problem for non-believers. Dhamma has to be tasted and digested, for it to be understood, otherwise, it sounds pretty absurd to anyone who has only experienced conventional wisdom. For me, it was just another system of belief, and like the video “Sons of One Religion”, I believed in all religions and visited all places of worship, although, of course, I was born into just one of them. There were monks at kovils, Hindus at Buddhist gatherings, Muslims at St Anthony’s and other places. I have seen all types, from Catholics to Baptists to Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus, at Sai Baba functions. All of this makes life a rich tapestry, and in fact I came to Buddhism through a brush with Hinduism — believe it or not, a single mantra – two words, actually – opened a key window in my mind. What I saw was so promising, I had to follow through, and so I began to delve into the inner realities which is what is required. After a somewhat meandering journey, I came to Buddhism. Now, slowly, my inner journey is focussed on a definite goal, with clear rules and guidelines: to reach that empty space-like clarity from where thoughts form, arise and die, just like us. I have had fleeting glimpses of it – and it is an immensely beautiful state. It’s not about floating around in a drug-induced-like high, but rather like being incredibly aware of things – the true nature of the mind is clarity, after all. The good thing is, the more you practice, the more accessible this awareness becomes, and it can be your guiding light in this very misguided world. It informs about the true nature of things. I am still in baby steps – our monks remind us we have far to go, but for now, I have a better understanding what life is all about, have knocked my ego off its clay pedestal, and smartened my grip on reality. I am no longer at the mercy of my once-opinionated mind, but rather have a more healthy awareness of what is really going on in a situation and an ability to draw back and detach without much effort. It’s a good spot to be in because then you can measure your response, which one cannot do without pacifying and containing the compulsive stream of thought. It takes an immense amount of mind training: what Buddhism is about.

    Of course, one does not have to be a Buddhist to do this… it can be done by other means. For me, Buddhism provides a clear road map, so why not?

    There is more to life, than our conceptual senses can recognize.

    • yapa

      Dear Omi Gosh;

      Thanks for the comment.

      Really I too have taken Buddhist philosophy as an intellectual exercise so far, not going beyond practicing its basic principles.

      I have seen many trying to practice its deep principles without having a good understanding of them. Also I have seen many have got adverse effects rather than positive effects doing so. So, I am still not brave enough to indulge in deep practices as many do.

      It is said that the understanding comes to a practitioner little by little and ultimately gets the full understanding. However, most of those who have been in practice and had some understanding, I haven’t seen progressed to full understanding, indicating something wrong somewhere.

      So, in my case, I want to take every cautionary action before I myself indulge into the practice that my practice would lead to the ultimate goal. I want to know the road map properly before I put my foot on the path, until then I will not indulge in deep practices, other than the basic practices which I was convinced correct and good. I believe the saying “Daena giyoth Katharagama, nodaena giyoth atharamaga”.Really, I am only in the process of investigating the path to Katharagama.

      I must say that I have come across convincing facts in Buddhism. I am convinced that it is an intellectual masterpiece. But still I am not convinced about the ability to achieve the ultimate goal using the practices prevailing today. In Buddhism it is said that the person who tries to understand the dhamma through intellectual exercise takes a long way. Still I think it is my way.

      However, your experience in practice may help all of us than the intellectual exercise we are engaged in, if you can convince the audience with what you have achieved in practice and if the readers think it is worthwhile the effort. Please disclose your experiences.

      Thanks!

  • yapa

    “A Sri Lankan youth employed as a domestic aid has been arrested in Saudi Arabia for worshiping a statue of the Buddha,…..”

    http://www.ceylontoday.lk/16-9052-news-detail-arrested-for-idol-worship.html

    What do those Islam champions who killed devil in Dambulla incident have to say about this?

    Do they approve this ridiculous act?

    Thanks!

    • yapa

      The silence of them about this incident clearly shows that the “Dambulla pandemonium” was just a selfish one.

      When they get hurt it is wrong, but it is right for them to hurt others.

      A peculiar philosophy.

      Thanks!