Hinduism Critique


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World Religions class for Jon Kohler's Amarillo College class, Spring 2010.

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Hinduism Critique

  1. 2. Hindu Metaphysics <ul><li>Mankind's main problem is metaphysical not moral according to Hinduism. </li></ul><ul><li>Man has forgotten his true nature and experiences himself to be someone other than what he is. </li></ul><ul><li>Experiencing the sacred requires attaining that original state of consciousness which he has lost. </li></ul><ul><li>Man must transcend the finite, personal consciousness and merge (or experience ourselves to be) the Infinite Impersonal Consciousness. </li></ul>
  2. 3. Hindu Ethics <ul><li>The caste system obligates one to live and act according to caste. </li></ul><ul><li>To do otherwise is bad Karma. </li></ul><ul><li>It is impossible to believe in human equality, rights and freedom and affirm Hinduism. </li></ul><ul><li>Widows according to Hindu teaching (Laws of Manu 5:156, 158, 161) must remain chaste the rest of their days. </li></ul><ul><li>Many women are praised for their devotion because they flung themselves onto their late husband’s funeral pyre to burn up along with him (a practice known as sati ); the only alternative to chastity. </li></ul>
  3. 4. Ethics and Karma <ul><li>According to the Law of Karma, the world is completely just. </li></ul><ul><li>Anything that happens to a person in life is a reward for action in an earlier life. </li></ul><ul><li>Most rationalists would maintain that people are born with physical and mental handicaps because of evil inflicted upon them by other human beings. </li></ul><ul><li>Reincarnationists must maintain that all seeming injustices are just. </li></ul><ul><li>They are punishments for evil deeds done by the person in some past experience. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Ethical Evaluation <ul><li>Reincarnation combined with Karma is morally empty. </li></ul><ul><li>No matter what we choose to do or have done (in relation to others), it will be the morally correct thing. </li></ul><ul><li>If we do not help people and they suffer, it is just. They deserve it because of bad deeds in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>If we help people and they do not suffer as much as they would otherwise, then they did not deserve to suffer as much. </li></ul><ul><li>Our intervention, or lack thereof, in matters of human suffering and human rights is inconsequential. </li></ul><ul><li>We have no moral duty to protect the defenseless. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no such thing as moral obligation. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Monism in Hinduism <ul><li>Monism is the belief that God, man and the universe are ultimately one. </li></ul><ul><li>Man is infinite consciousness or God, but has become entangled in the finite rational consciousness. </li></ul><ul><li>As long as man remains in this state, he is reborn repeatedly in this world of suffering. </li></ul><ul><li>The only way to escape is experiencing oneself as the Infinite Impersonal Consciousness. </li></ul><ul><li>The techniques of specific yogas are designed to bring about “union” with the Infinite One. </li></ul><ul><li>Religious Monism requires man, by its very nature, to suspend our faculties of reason and put our brain in neutral. </li></ul><ul><li>Any religion that bypasses or disengages the mind can appear to be experientially true, simply because the ability to verify or deny it has been removed! </li></ul>
  6. 7. Hindu Epistemology <ul><li>The Vedas are believed to be eternal. </li></ul><ul><li>Devout Hindus cannot accept the fact that there is anything in the universe earlier than the Vedic. </li></ul><ul><li>The Universe itself is believed to be eternal. </li></ul><ul><li>The Aryans brought the Vedic culture to India. </li></ul><ul><li>There are civilizations earlier than the Vedic that inhabited India. This is an archaeologically confirmed fact. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Eternality of the Universe <ul><li>Almost all cosmologists now think that the Universe had some sort of a beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>The “Big Bang” is the commonly held theory of a finite universe model. </li></ul><ul><li>This leaves little room for an oscillating universe or steady state model. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Summary <ul><li>We have forgotten who we are in our rationalistic stupor and we must transcend the rational to achieve oneness with the Infinite of which we are, and are a part. </li></ul><ul><li>Humankind is valued exclusively according to caste and roles (women). </li></ul><ul><li>Human rights, freedom and equality are non-existent. </li></ul><ul><li>If anyone suffers, they deserve it; period. </li></ul><ul><li>We have no moral responsibility to relieve the suffering of others. Indeed, we have no moral obligation to others whatsoever. </li></ul><ul><li>Monism requires that one not be rational about one’s religion. </li></ul><ul><li>The universe is eternal and oscillating and the sciences of astronomy and geography are incorrect. </li></ul>