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Vishwa Jay

Favourite answers24%
Answers1,335
Questions23

I currently operate a website for spiritual teaching. I am a bishop (Acharya) in the lineage of Mahajrya Buddhism. I believe that truth has no religion, but that all religions have at least some truth to them. And while religions have not necessarily been good because of control, there is more good than harm which has tended to come from them... now if they would just set their bloomin' egocentrism aside and listen instead of trying to reign supreme, this world would be much more awesom I am a big fan of reason and rationality over irrational belief or irrational skepticism (skepticism is a poor substitute for clear thought, and being negative and snarky gets old very quickly). Therefore, being reasonable requires accepting that you do NOT know better than someone else about what THEY should or should not believe. This is as true for die-hard atheists as it is for fundamentalist religious nuts. Rational atheists understand that there is more than one way to look at things.

  • Why do militant atheists hate other atheists?

    I just happened across an article online, and discovered that Max Tegmark (a self-described atheist who works at MIT) has been attacked by militant atheists with far more frequency than religious fundamentalists (which surprised him, according to the article). The URL to the article:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-tegmark/angry-at...

    And to the survey about the US minority population of anti-evolutionists:

    http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/religion.html

    So... why would militant atheists attack someone who might actually have proof of something that they are claiming, and who is actually on their side?

    Doesn't this hurt atheism, to do things like this?

    I'm actually confused on this. Could someone illuminate the situation a little more clearly? Best answer goes to those who are able to give me a well-reasoned and well-supported answer which doesn't troll. Trolls should not expect a 'best answer' or much in the way of interaction.

    2 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • Why is it more rational to push religion to infinite regress than science?

    Okay, so, I asked this question before, and people were trying to assert whether or not God exists, which has NOTHING to do with this question.

    Please look up the term "infinite regress" if you don't know what it is. Educated answers to the question will earn the 10 pt. reward.

    You want proof of God, but the only proof possible is that we exist, and that something cannot come from nothing (yes, I'm aware of quantum theory in this regard, and while the math is compelling in its own right, it will be discarded in answers to this question on the grounds of irrelevance). Isn't it possible that the definition of God is what's faulty and needs repair, rather than evidence? If we redefine God as "that which caused everything to exist" then whatever caused the Big Bang is God. Or whatever caused that. And so on. This is the core of your argument: that God is by definition either a being, or something which is in infinite regress.

    What about people who flatly reject such a rigid definition? Are we to assume that there is in fact an origination of the scientific universe without applying the same infinite regress standard to which ideas of any deity might be required to undergo when in a scientific context?

    This may sound absurd, but it is seemingly so, based on the answers within the Religion & Spirituality section of Y!A. Why is it necessary to negate belief based on a standard which is not equally and fairly applied in all cases?

    10 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • Isn't atheism as irrational as theism?

    Okay, so... before anyone goes burning me at the stake, let me explain:

    If we take a position of absolute knowledge, we presuppose that something does or does not exist. To claim that God exists without a basis of evidence is certainly irrational; but shouldn't we accept that our own experiences are valid for ourselves (even if not valid for others)?

    To claim that God does not exist is also a claim--it's not merely, as many say here, a rejection of the claim that God exists, because in the absence of evidence to support or refute the claim the correct action would be to suspend judgment: to be agnostic, rather than solidly for or against the position. Because regardless, a lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack--this is in virtually every accepted textbook on the subject of Critical Thinking that I can find at the university and public library systems. So if this is true from a philosophical point of view, wouldn't that make the militant form of atheism equal in irrationality to the fundamentalist Christian counterparts?

    Let me explain things one step further: in science if we look for something that there is not evidence to support, the question is not merely dropped: it can be revisited later, when there is a greater level of technology, and so a lack of data to refute the existence of something merely accepts the lack of data, and does not close the book on any phenomenon.

    So while there may be a general acceptance of a lacking phenomenon itself, this is in fact an irrational point of view in the absence of evidence to refute the existence of such a phenomenon. It is only a lack of evidence. So while personal experiences and observations may observe something, a lack of ability to measure it or repeat it merely opens a vacuum of evidence; it doesn't necessarily prove that something does not exist.

    The only thing that could offer the proof of a lack of existence is the presence of something which is mutually exclusive to the phenomenon which is desired. Logically, one cannot prove the lack of something; one can only prove the presence of something which prevents it from happening.

    What prevents God from happening in such a case? The existence of everything is in fact the only evidence to support that God exists: as Creator, the idea of God is inextricably linked to Creation, and cannot merely be defeated by absence of proof--literally, everything would be proof, to a mind that accepts ID as a source. But why can't it be that the Big Bang was a part of His design?

    Why must we accept the irrationality of atheism as anything other than equal to the irrationality of Christianity?

    Feel free to explain any fallacies in my logic on this point as you answer. 10 pts. goes to the person who answers clearly, honestly, and with as little bias as possible.

    24 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • Why do so many atheists in R&S treat Christianity as the only "religion"?

    I've noticed that there are a group of militant atheists who bash "religion" but their viewpoint seems to be only that of being anti-Christians. There are more religions than Christianity, and more than one perspective on the idea of who or what God is, so why is it that these particular people treat every religious question with apparent zeal and arrogant blindness which seems equal to those they oppose?

    Is atheism strictly anti-Christian, or is it actually anti-deism?

    34 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • Why is critical thinking not a part of atheism or religion?

    When I was taking critical thinking back in college, one of the primary things we were required to learn is that opinions cannot be taken as fact. An opinion is any statement which is only true in a subjective sense, and therefore not objectively true or false.

    Yet I look around at the answers which are given here, and people are being asked to prove their subjective experiences--proof that there is or isn't God. This cannot be proved; only experienced (or not experienced). It is therefore subjective. We can't prove that there is or isn't any deity. In good reasoning, a lack of proof is not proof of a lack, where subjective experience is concerned. To try to apply the criteria of objectivity to a subjective topic is fallacious (and runs afoul of over a dozen listed fallacies). Opinions simply are neither true nor false.

    So the question here is: why does this not apply when people are talking about religion (or the lack thereof)? When someone asks a serious question, it seems like the trolls descend from both sides to take pot-shots, and this detracts from the actual ability to have anything approaching a rational discussion.

    Why aren't either side allowed to have their opinions without the conversation devolving into personal attacks of some kind?

    Why is having an opinion not permitted by theist and atheist alike?

    14 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • If atheists are not religious, what are they doing in here?

    This is not a troll question, I actually want to hear from the atheists what business they think they have in here, and why trolling those who are religious is necessary (beyond the simple fact that pulling one over on someone is fun, and the fact that a counterpoint is necessary would mean that serious answers would prevail, so this isn't a logically or reasonably acceptable answer, since reason does not actually predominate the answers here).

    My fellow theists: if you have real insight, awesome, but don't expect me to accept your answer if it's not actually framed in a way which explains the mechanics of what's happening.

    For the record, one of the atheists will be more likely getting a "best answer" from this than anyone who is theist.

    25 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • Why is this Jew so upset?

    Saw this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=GxiwBpbGmoU

    This man says that peaceful coexistence is a basic tenet of the Jewish faith, and he blames atheism for the politics that have created the issues. Of course, I really don't get his position, even if I want to. Can anyone explain what he's talking about?

    10 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • What makes something spiritually significant or not?

    I'm wondering if there is an answer other than "because I decided it was".

    What creates the feeling of spirituality? And how do we tell if it's significant, as opposed to simply being a cool experience?

    How do we tell if there is synchronicity behind coincidence? Or is life completely random, with no significance to anything?

    4 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 years ago
  • What determines our naming of genes as dominant or recessive?

    Just wondering why we call some genes dominant and others recessive. What makes it so? Are they really genetically different, or is it more like gardening, and based on desirability?

    2 AnswersBiology8 years ago
  • Remote Viewers: Can you locate the lost object?

    TRN's are 31528 18170

    Use any method of remote viewing to determine the result. The object's photo is posted somewhere on the internet and will be linked just before I close this question. I do not know the object's current location (it is lost), and would be interested in finding it. It's important to me, but not to anyone else.

    Those who want to know, the image is online, and the TRN is front-loaded as well as connecting to the picture in my notes.

    10 points to the first one to post enough information to help me locate it. If nobody gets it within 7 days, I'll simply delete this question, rather than offer anyone a potential reward.

    Descriptions of the object in question will also be considered for "best answer" if there is no resolution.

    6 AnswersParapsychology1 decade ago
  • What can be made of this UFO report from 2 years ago? Accurate or not?

    I've been poring over this report for the past 16 months, and I'm still unable to make a solidly rational decision on it. The PDF file (in the link below) is from radar data obtained during the "Stephenville Lights" incident in Texas (which occurred in January 2008). After actually reading the data, it does seem to be legitimate, and corroborates several eyewitness testimonials. All of the data appears to be included, according to the confirmed FOIA requests.

    http://www.mufon.com/documents/MUFONStephenvilleRa...

    I will only consider answers from those who have actually read the report, rather than those who scan and make a snap judgment. There is enough doubt in both directions to make this a difficult discernment to me. In emailing those who were involved in the analysis, the answers do seem to be cogent and well-reasoned. The math is certainly accurate, if the data (which, again, corroborates the eyewitness reports) is accurate.

    Anyone wanna field this one?

    4 AnswersOther - Alternative1 decade ago
  • Does anyone know if this is actually a cure for cancer?

    http://www.depmed.ualberta.ca/dca/

    Just found this while doing some unrelated research, was hoping to find out if anyone knows what the deal is.

    3 AnswersCancer1 decade ago
  • Is it fair to exclude one field of study by name in order to bolster one's claims that it can't exist?

    Found this while I was researching a while back, and I have my own opinions on this, but I'd like to hear from both sides of the argument on this.

    http://www.csicop.org/si/9012/critical-thinking.ht...

    This is the Skeptical Inquirer's take on what constitutes critical thinking. Down the page a way, I found the following list:

    The evidence offered in support of any claim must be adequate to establish the truth of that claim, with these stipulations:

    1. the burden of proof for any claim rests on the claimant,

    2. extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, and

    3. evidence based upon authority and/or testimony is always inadequate for any paranormal claim

    Doesn't this mean that the criteria are necessarily flawed, since they rely on prejudism and ipse dixit fallacy, combined with the fact that such a requirement for, say, mathematics would necessarily inhibit any kind of serious study in that field? Wouldn't the claim that the paranormal cannot exist (a common skeptical claim) therefore be completely invalidated as well?

    Conversely, if we eliminate that last criteria altogether, what stops anyone from making claims based on an authoritarian viewpoint and making it stick? In other words, how do we know something is true based on what someone says? How can we trust that someone isn't being tricked by stage magic or some kind of misinterpretation of events (whether deliberate or not)?

    Is it really fair to name the paranormal specifically as an exclusion based on the long history of authority within accepted fields of scientific study? Why or why not?

    9 AnswersParapsychology1 decade ago
  • Can I be Indigo, too?

    I state flatly, I am not a psychic.

    And yet today, a friend proclaims that I'm one of the ones who is supposed to have all kinds of powers and do all kinds of great things with my life and... yeah, I'm pretty doubtful. But then she pointed out that I have good luck, where survival is concerned. It's true: there are lots of things that should have killed me, but didn't, usually due to incredible strings of well-timed luck or coincidence. But 30 in a row is a little high for chance.

    She asked if I knew what the Indigo Children were. I do, of course. But I suggest that these things that characterize Indigo's are things we can trace throughout folklore history for tens of centuries... they're not new, and nothing really indicative of "a step up the ol' evolutionary ladder" really pops out at me.

    So, what makes an Indigo? Is it only the aura? Could the clairvoyant who prophesied the end of the world (in many traditions) be indigo? Does anything actually prevent me from being Indigo?

    Well, other than that people think I'm a jerk sometimes, and don't care that people think that. I try to be nice to people, but if they give me a line of BS, I'm going to tend to try to figure out what they're talking about before I accept or reject it.

    So, is it possible?

    8 AnswersParanormal Phenomena1 decade ago
  • How do you validate the target on a remote viewing that is currently unknowable?

    If, for example, I found some secret underground base in the Middle East, how could I validate the existence of something like that without being able to be there? And... for this hypothetical situation, the base is secret, it's never been revealed, and the owner of the base is unknown.

    10 AnswersParapsychology1 decade ago
  • Scientific research: where is it now?

    I'm looking for some of the references to published scientific papers, and I've found that the local copies of the ones I'm specifically looking for are missing from the collections (much to the dismay of the libraries who hold them).

    I'm looking for W C Levengood and N P Talbott's original published work for "Physiologia Plantarum" 105:615-624 (1999) and Dr. Eltjo Haselhoff's publication of the physics involved with crop circle formation, also in Physiologia Plantarum, 111:123-125 (2001). Electronic text would be fine if it includes the charts, math, and diagrams. I've seen it before, and the publications cannot be checked out from the library, so unless they were merely misplaced they've been stolen.

    I'm also looking for a work published sometime in 1995 in the American Psychiatric Journal (which I simply don't have access to) which talks about neurophysiological responses to electronic stimuli that cause reactions similar to an NDE and also similar to an alien abduction in some cases. I've seen it generally referenced, but with no specific page or edition references and no actual proof that such a publication actually exists. Again, electronic text would be preferable.

    Finally, I'm looking for some previously-available works on PK which are no longer online, which clearly delineated the findings of PK in people from 1970 through 2000. I can find no reason the work was removed, other than to make room for a new web site. The work was previously on the Rhine Institute's web site, and email inquiriess have gone unanswered.

    Anyone with information on these is welcome to respond publicly, by email, or by instant message. These works will be used in a book that discusses actual science involving the paranormal, rather than merely relying on the reports of people who are laymen.

    Thanks!

    6 AnswersParapsychology1 decade ago
  • Does anyone have any great Halloween stories for children?

    I need them to be funny or cute, for kids age 5-7 for this Halloween, and I'd like some really cute and creative ones if you decide to make one up.

    Links to pages are best, but if you wanna post the whole story here, that's cool too.

    Best story gets the 10 points and my thanks.

    3 AnswersMythology & Folklore1 decade ago
  • Do meteors change direction during re-entry?

    Found an interesting Brazilian video on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjuReliyduI

    Youtube thumbnail

    The video has the appearance of being genuine, but I'm not sure about how a meteor would change direction during re-entry. Is there anyone available who knows anything about physics to debunk this UFO?

    Explanations in hard science would be preferable to "yeah, it's definitely a UFO" or "it's totally not a UFO" responses. The best explanation wins! (I'll be running the possible explanations past a friend who's an astrophysicist, just to keep people on their toes and make it realistic... and he says no, meteors don't change direction during re-entry, and I haven't shown him the video yet.)

    8 AnswersParanormal Phenomena1 decade ago
  • Explosion in the sky... what is it?

    Found an interesting UFO video... a UFO explodes!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CewH99F0K0

    Youtube thumbnail

    I don't have any NASA records of my own after 2000, so I can't say if there was anything that exploded that night. It's clear that this isn't a fake. What's not clear is what they're actually looking at. It's obviously reflective and the footage is taken just after twilight, though I'm not sure where.

    Suggestions?

    8 AnswersParanormal Phenomena1 decade ago
  • Can you debunk or validate this ghost footage?

    I was looking through some of the ghost stuff on YouTube (a lot of which is funny and done in good humor), but then I found this one, which I'm really not sure about.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlpYfP8PQDA

    Youtube thumbnail

    We see the shadowy figure of the camera operator, and we also see what looks to be the ghost of a girl. Honestly, I'm stumped. I've never seen video footage like this, and so my gut says "faked" but there's still enough to it that I can't completely dismiss it, either.

    Anyone with ideas for or against, please help me!

    8 AnswersParanormal Phenomena1 decade ago