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Karna

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About Karna

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    Doubter

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    Male
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    Religions and its effects on people!
  • More About Me
    Learning more about Christianity and hoping organized religions die soon.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Agnostic

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  1. Karna

    Delusion

    In heaven they maintain the 'blacks with blacks', 'whites with whites'....
  2. Found a small video on Truth and Belief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwUd9gHusc0 What do you all think of it?
  3. Hello Disillusioned, Thanks for engaging me. Let me try to elaborate and answer your questions. I gave it some thought and that is why I came up with the sequence that I mentioned in my previous answer. Maybe we are talking about 'knowledge' in different contexts. When I started thinking about the question, I kind of agreed about the sequence: Belief --> Knowledge --> Truth. The problem with this approach was that it implies one forms a Belief first, then works towards gaining Knowledge on it, and then attaining the Truth about it. In a way, that is correct. But thinking about it in subjective terms, I realized it could help changing the sequence like I proposed earlier. Let us take another example from chemistry. I have read that a water molecule is made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. When I started chemistry in high school, I was introduced to this. So this was my knowledge then. I 'knew' that H2+O = H2O. After repeated reading about it and writing exams, I feel I have knowledge about this. And scientists affirm this too. But from my perspective, this Knowledge is still a Belief for me. Wouldn't you agree? I have never taken 2 atoms of Hydrogen and attached them to one atom of Oxygen; or have not broken a water molecule into its constituent atoms. So I haven't really done the Work/Practice to Experience this phenomenon. So I have been blindly accepting my Knowledge, then Belief, as the Truth. The other problem with Belief-->Knowledge-->Truth is that once someone Believes something to be True, they will never make an attempt to 'Know' about it. Why would someone try to learn something they think they already know? This is exactly what I am saying. Knowledge can be transformed into Belief. And sometimes Knowledge is better than Belief like you say. But again, I am trusting somebody's work in Chemistry and taking hearsay as the Truth. What if the scientists were wrong about this? And there was some unhiterto unidentified element that also went into forming those atomic bonds? (This is just a silly example...but I want to explain my line of thought). Then it would mean, that after reading all chemistry books, I have strong Knowledge (that trumps Belief) but I am still in the Falsehood. So now I have knowledge of chemistry and atoms and bonds. Given the resources and time (and provided the study of water molecules is extremely important in my life), I can use all this Knowledge to test if my so-far held Belief is correct. If I find that there is this new element that goes into it, I will change my Belief (meaning I will transcend my Belief) and arrive at the Truth after hundreds of repeated experiments that prove the existence and utility of this new element in the water molecule. If some of my experiments say otherwise, then it means I haven't been consistent enough. And Truth cannot be inconsistent. So I would know that my Belief is false; and my knowledge is incomplete and that I don't know the Truth (or if my experiments conclude that water molecule is indeed made of only 2 Hydrogen and 1 Oxygen atoms) then I will accept the scientist's and book's proclamations as the Truth. The confusion about Knowledge and Belief is legitimate. From a subjective perspective, people have a 'Belief about something; something they 'think' they 'know'. What you think you 'Know' may not be True in the first place. What do you think?
  4. This is an interesting question and I see a lot of detailed answers and comments. I havent really gone through all of these comments; so forgive me if I repeat what has already been said. But my simple two cents on this question - The sequence, as I seem to think, would be Knowledge --> Belief --> Truth. But it won't be that simple. I will add a few more terms to this sequence: Information --> Knowledge --> Belief --> Work/Practice --> Experience --> Repeatability --> Truth. To elaborate this: We first need some kind of Information (be it basic or detailed). Understanding this information would lead one to knowing about the existence of such a concept. Repeated exposure to this knowledge (or being convinced by a little exposure) would lead to formation of Belief. But this Belief is not of much help. Most people would stop here and would claim to know the Truth. But without the next steps, it is just a concept in one's mind. Lets assume for the sake of argument that there is a space shuttle in outer space. And a baby is born in that shuttle. Since there is zero gravity in the shuttle, everyone in the shuttle will be floating around with that baby. If the baby is given Information about the gravity on earth it will kind of have Knowledge of it. And it will form a Belief about the concept of gravity. But it will still need to put in work and practice (in this case the work of getting off the shuttle and going near the earth's surface to actually Experience gravity. Now, no matter how many times it does this exercise of going from outer space to earth, this experience of gravity will always be happening for it. In other words, this experience will be repeatable. Only then the baby can claim that it knows the Truth about gravity. If there was another baby on board who did not do the same things like the first baby did, this baby will only have a Belief of gravity without actual repeatable experience. The Truth of the concept will be real for the first baby while it will be imaginary for the second baby. The second baby actually should use the Knowledge to transcend the Belief and not stop at Belief. I think the Repeatability part of the sequence will weed out the many emotional/hallucinatory parts of concepts that we on this forum and our friends (who need to be on this forum) lack. Just having a vision (which may be hallucination) cannot be termed as Truth. Can you repeat that experience for yourself (in spite of having a sane mind)? If one can repeat this experience with a set of steps/procedure then one can say they have got the Truth. Let me know what you think.
  5. I came across this strange video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC4MjPKf3jY&t=207s For some reason it reminded me of an article I read on the adoption-movement in evangelical circles! I have come across quite a few American christians now that have gone for adoptions (even when they have their own kids) especially from third world countries. On one hand it is a good thing - kids from third world countries will have a shot at an improved life that USA has to offer. But on the other hand these young kids will have their mind infected by religious ideologies for their entire life. My ex's uncle and aunt have 3-4 children of their own. And they adopted a kid from China who now must be 12 or so. While visiting them once I got talking with this youngster. He said his favorite football player was some QB of Seattle (I think). When asked why, he said - he is a good quarterback; plus he is a strong christian! I was kind of appalled. Then he asked me about what I do for Diwali. I told him a bit about Diwali and how I go watch the fireworks at the temple. This kid was surprised that hindus have temples and the concept of god. He asked this aloud and my ex's mom had to interject - Oh they have their god! I kind of felt sorry for his already closed mind. I am pretty sure my ex will adopt some day...she probably wants to save some kid who otherwise would end up in the eternal fires of her hell.
  6. One can do heavy-lifting like building hospitals, schools, etc. only if one has resources. Obviously the Nepalese folks do not have those resources. On a smaller scale, consider a family that has a hand-to-mouth existence. They cannot obviously do financial charity since they have to feed themselves first. Now if they had surplus finances then it would be expected of them to give some to charity. The Western world has those surplus resources and so can do the heavy-lifting...which is a good thing. But should we go into how those resources came about? We will then have to tread into history. And there are many skeletons in the Western world's closet; think about wealth amassed through colonization, think about cheap/free labor through slavery, think about genocide of native indigenous people to grab their land and resources. From my perspective, this wealth wasn't truly obtained by fair means. A common theme through these skeletons of the past has been religion. Christianity was used to either subdue the indigenous people or to make their way of life similar to their conquerors. It is another thing that we get to enjoy the fruits of the ills that one group of people inflicted on another. The noble and rightful thing to do here was to do the heavy lifting selflessly. With the advancement and benefit of the other world in mind. But man is selfish and will not do it if there is nothing to gain from it. If the Nepalese were expansionists, like the Europeans were, they could have used force and perhaps their religion to do the same and we could have been in a similar position now with a different majority religion. Even today, the major heavy lifting that happens in the third world countries, has big religious undertones to it - Convert to enjoy the spoils. Something to think about.
  7. Have you traveled a lot outside of where you are from? Maybe you have... If you haven't, I want to encourage you to travel and experience other cultures before you pass judgements. I bet if you traveled to Nepal you would be welcomed wholeheartedly and warmly. Even if they are economically and technologically backward, humanity isn't missing there. All it takes is to travel and experience other cultures to find out that other cultures are good in their own way - even though they may be not similar to yours. For others - I have mentioned this before - but take a look at Joshua Project and you will find out how a certain group of people is bent upon invading and destroying other cultures around the world.
  8. I, by no means, know this and I might get the terms mixed up (or introduce my own!). But I will try to put it down in my words as simply as I can. Again, this is only philosophy until it is brought into action and is experienced. @Joshpantera - You may be correct. But what I have read so far is that the eternal consciousness is called Brahman, which is completely pure with no desires. The eternal part of it in everything is called Atman (pronounced - aatmah: which could be translated as Soul). The Atman and Ego are separate and difficult to differentiate between for the non-actualized individual. The Atman is hence imprinted with the desires of the Ego. Upon death these imprints still persist and re-birth happens in order to satisfy these desires. When there are no desires or influence of Ego, is when the Atman can merge with the Brahman and cease the rebirth cycle. I don’t understand why someone would want to experience the life of an animal though! Could it be that someone lived a life that involved extremely terrible treatment of animals and in their subconscious mind thought how it would be like to be in that animals’ shoes? That could be something that latches on to the Atman and then there is rebirth as an animal? This could explain stepping down on the ‘soul hierarchy’. At the end of the day, everyone has to live as per their Dharma to elevate oneself up the hierarchy. Going back to our favorite example (from the other thread) of the 10 year old sex slave; the perpetrators would literally have to be robots to not think later in their lives about the atrocity they committed. Such things stay with us in our psyche - both the child's and the perpetrators'. The child will grow up wanting a revenge and the perpetrators will live in a sorry conscience. Could it be possible then these would reverse their positions in the next life to experience the other side? If you think about it - the good things we do, we generally don't think much about those (that is living as per Dharma); but bad things we do stay with us in the form of regrets. I once heard my older cousin say that their Guru said that the best way in Kaliyuga for an individual is to perform Japa (which is meditating upon a Mantra). The Buddhists stress on meditating without a Mantra - just stilling your mind. Could it be a means to achieve/understand separation between the Atman and the Ego? Could it be a means to achieve a desireless state? Stilling the mind or constant meditation on a Mantra on a long term could possibly lead to a mind that is not thinking of money, sex, power, and the constant drama that surrounds us. So at the time of death we are desire-less and would not see a need to be reborn. As for the case of reincarnation - I agree someone might say they were Napolean in a past life. But it could very well be that they watched a documentary sometime and they recalled it subconsciously during a hypnotic session. But how would one explain it when someone says they were some random dude killed on a farm during World War 1? Well they might have watched a movie on World War1. Then how would you explain a 2 year old talk about events that a 2 year old couldn’t have possibly known? Or people that were unknown to the 2 year old and his family? But infact were actual people in a neighboring town (cue - many cases studied by Dr Stevenson). The problem of rising population discounts the ‘theory’ of other beings on other planets. We do not know if other planets are populated. But in the vast universe it could be a possibility. Also, could it be possible that animals that lived as per their Dharma (Whatever that means in the context of animals ) would climb up the hierarchy to become humans? All these are just speculations, my 2 cents. I have a Hindu/Buddhist frame of reference to go by. Obviously none of this can be scientifically proved, yet. Hence I am glad New-Age stuff is an upcoming field. I see New-Age stuff trying to bridge the gap between ancient philosophies and current human experience. These things need to be experienced to be believed. Going ascetic-mode into a cave and meditating non-stop is not possible for us. But New-Age means could give us a glimpse of those things and validate what the ancient philosophies said. At the end of the day, it is better than the Heaven/Hell ideology. At least this ancient/New Age line of thinking propels us to be good human beings living our Dharma without the fear of Hell or an awaiting prize in Heaven! Doesn't matter if you are an atheist or an agnostic. All one needs is an experience to change your views on this.
  9. Hey folks! I am not sure if this is the correct place for this topic. But I am going to post it anyways! Maybe it should be in the ‘spiritual’ forum? But I couldn’t post there. Most here, I think, will find these topics outlandish. But I want to post about ‘reincarnation’ and ‘afterlife’. The former has some credibility since the research on it can be deemed scientific. The latter, maybe not, since this research is not really scientific as we know, but is based more on ‘other worldly’ phenomenon. The eastern philosophies, and the pre-Abrahamic philosophies all over the world have talked about and believe in reincarnation. So there could be a possibility. But again we should be wary of using numbers/popularity as determining the truth. We need to have a scientific basis to this phenomenon to appeal to our rational minds. In the 1960s Dr. Ian Stevenson from the University of Virginia’s Department of Psychiatry started his research on the subject of reincarnation. His Christian upbringing provided a hindrance to his research initially but eventually started making progress. He has some 3000 odd cases which are quite interesting and shed much light on this subject. This subject might be much difficult to prove with regular scienctific means. I would term it more like an investigation instead! But nevertheless, his research points to a healthy possibility of the phenomenon. His successor, Dr Jim Tucker is carrying on the work after Dr Stevenson. These can be easily looked up on Google. The second phenomenon involves hypnosis and psychic readings which, for me, could be mired with inconsistencies and are much more harder to believe since they are outside the realm of regular science. I have been following answers on Quora from a guy named Richard Martini who has written some books on this subject. His writings are what I find interesting in the context of beliefs and the ex-christian website. He has filmed people under deep hypnosis while talking about these subjects. One of his answers was interesting. In a nutshell he said that in the afterlife, people experience things based on their belief systems (although these are just mind-creations and are not real). Below is a link to one of his answers - Answer to If we reincarnate, what's the purpose of hell, which dozens of people witnessed and talked about in great detail? by Richard Martini https://www.quora.com/If-we-reincarnate-whats-the-purpose-of-hell-which-dozens-of-people-witnessed-and-talked-about-in-great-detail/answer/Richard-Martini-1?ch=8&share=8dd023e5&srid=z5tP If this were true, that would just mean people that strongly believe in concepts of heaven and hell might be setting themselves up to experience these. And my understanding is that it is much rare for someone to die without any regrets. When you are on your deathbed it perhaps would be hard to know that you have lived your life perfectly and deserve heaven (if it existed) - there will always be something at the back of your mind, although minuscule, that will tell you that you do not deserve it; which is when the possibility of hell (if it existed) becomes true. But this heaven-hell business is steeped in Abrahamic philosophies. So people who truly believed in this would actually be the ones ‘suffering’ in their afterlife. I found this topic interesting. Deals with human psychology and wanted to share it with you all. Would love to know your take on it.
  10. Today, 2nd October, is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. He is known as the Father of Nation for India. His ways of non-violent opposition to the British Rule, and bringing the entire country together to non-violently fight against the Rule was instrumental in achieving freedom for India. Nelson Mandela was inspired by Gandhi to fight against apartheid in South Africa. Martin Luther King also visited India and was inspired by Gandhi for his Civil Rights Movement. On this occasion I found an article about Gandhi's views on Religion. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/mahatma-gandhi-150th-birth-anniversary-recovering-gandhis-religious-vision/article29568533.ece?homepage=true Gandhi acknowledges that it might be hard to get religion out of our system, since religion is so intrinsically intertwined with culture. But the need of the hour is to have a different approach to religion rather than what we see today. I hope you all find this article interesting.
  11. 30 years is a long time! What made you re-connect after all those years? Or why did you wait 30 years to reconnect?
  12. Yes, Numbers 31 is damning. I mentioned it to my fundy ex and asked her how could this book say a thing like this or how could god command this? She replied with something on the lines of - Those people prayed differently! Fortunately she also added that she doesnt really know why. It shows that people usually are morally sound because of this intrinsic thing called empathy. And such 'teachings' probably cause discomfort to these people but they push this discomfort under the rug and carry on with their indoctrinated beliefs.
  13. I came across this Youtube video by Torch of Christ Ministries where some American missionaries were distributing bibles in Mumbai, India last week. I commented on this video that they should soon introduce the biblical slavery in India! Some woman responded with this garbage - Highlighted reply Sarah de Kroon3 days ago (edited) In Exodus the Egyptians held Israel as slaves. In the event that you speak of the slavery in the bible that one is actually an act of love for families who had lost everything. They would get indentured as a slave knowingly and of their own will. When they had saved enough to pay to get their own plot of land back they were able to freely leave. And by the way if someone was living on their land they had to give it back to them. God had a lot of rules set around slavery. You should try to get beyond internet information and go to the proper sources.
  14. I think you are right. Only someone who has truly experienced those states (or has experience of those spiritual insights) should use those words. The rest of us common folks, should refrain from using those words - in that context. For it is like talking about rocket science when we dont even know what an escape velocity is. When we project our limited knowledge on such concepts, we distort them and the concepts themselves lose their significance. So what should a commoner like me do? Keep seeking until I experience those states (which may happen or not happen). But until then keep living the best life possible, without hurting others and the environment, read, meditate, learn, step out of dogmas, be of service to the society, etc.
  15. I like the way you put things in your words. I kind of agree with this. Another link that talks about this here: Its a pretty longish video. But this guy's ideas resonate with me.
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