[Advaita-l] Standard questions of atheists/non-believers/doubters

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 16 18:45:15 CDT 2003

Recently there has been some discussion about atheism vis-a-vis advaita in both the lists. The questions that atheists or non-believers or doubters raise are very standard and I have tried to list a few of them below. The problem with them mostly is that they always seek an Yes-or-No answer to their questions and that is what starts an unending discussion. If only they could tolerate, for a time, the hypothesis that there could be a spectrum of possibilities between the two extremes of 'yes' and 'no'  to their questions, a headway could be made. And such questions also arise when one gets into the intellectualism of advaita without the necessary background or yearning for a spiritual quest. 
I am sure veteran teachers of Vedanta like Sadaji would have met with many more of such questions. I list below a few which have come my way. I do not intend to provoke a discussion. I am only letting ourselves remember that it is easy to raise such questions and expect a binary answer as if that would be the end of it all!
1.If God exists but cannot remove our suffering then he is not God.
2. If God exists and would not remove our suffering then he is not kind.
3. If God exists and should not remove our suffering then he is not the boss.
4. If God exists and suffering also has to exist then he is not the only Truth.
5. If God exists and cannot allow himself to be recognised by sense-perception then he is not all-mighty.
6. If God needs prayers and flattery then he is worse than man.
7. If Faith is the bottom line of Religion, why all this posture of logic, philosophy and rationale?
8. How can Fate and Freewill be both true in the same system?
9. Who is responsible for the inequalities of life, - Man, God or Fate?
10.If God created the universe, what was his purpose? Did he have to attain something which he did not have? Then he cannot be God.
11. Is not the entire logic of pUrva-karma in Hinduism an escapist one, that throws the blame always on something which can never be known?
12. If God ever manifested on earth, did he ever leave it with all problems of poverty and disease solved?
........... and so on !!!
With PraNAms to all advaitins

Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
My website on Science and Spirituality is http://www.geocities.com/profvk/
You can  access my book on Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision and Practice,  and my father R. Visvanatha Sastri's manuscripts from the site.

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