[Advaita-l] Science and Vedantha

Aditya Varun Chadha adichad at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 03:05:58 CST 2005


I am not sure how relevent this mail is to the list's concerns, but am
still posting publically. My apologies if this is a distraction.

On 12/1/05, Abhishek RK <rkabhi at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am sorry to disagree here. That great minds of this human race have not
> been able to do so even to this day of Wednesday 30th November 2005 is proof
> enough for me that such things cannot be inferred or guessed at. Also you
> say "What can be inferred is that "there are some things that are true but
> cannot be inferred"". This just gets into an "infinite loop" if I have your
> meaning right.

Yes, in spirit I am agreeing with you on this. It is hard to imagine
how one can "undergo enlightenment" just through "rational thought",
since thought itself is mAyA. My guts tell me so, my faith tells me
so. But since this IS a discussion about science and vedAnta, I am
just saying that currently, science does not have a proof saying that
it cannot answer the "ultimate question" (as posed by vedAnta).

By invoking Godel, I wanted to point out that science DOES have a
proof that it cannot answer SOME questions. But remember, this is not
the same as saying "science cannot answer 'the ultimate' question".
this is because the set of "some questions" may not necessarily
contain the 'ultimate question'. most probably it does (our faith says
so) but there is no scientific proof (yet).

remember I am not arguing within the realms of vedAnta, there this
problem has been solved already. But to someone who is not yet a
"devout vedAntin, knowledgable about its intricacies", it MAY seem
like we are using faith to justify faith. In other words, that my
faith (advaita) is that faith is required to realise brahman-hood
(thanks to profvk for this correction to my transliteration and

All I am saying is that science has reached so far as to say that
there are some questions it cannot answer. It would be worthwhile to
persue science to the point where it itself says that it cannot answer
the ultimate question. Science has shown hints of its ability to say
such a thing. Even when such a thing happens, science remains the best
tool to understand the intricacies of the physical world. Even though
this world is only mAyA, it pays to understand that which you have to
realise the non-existence of. please see that I am just being
extremely picky about the formal logic of things. This has to be done
only within the realms of science.

The statement "what can be inferred is that 'there are some things
that are true but cannot be inferred'" does not go into an infinite
loop. here's the logical argument:

let there be some things that are true but cannot be inferred. Lets
put them all together in a set.
remember that the above set has only "some" elements, not necessarily
"all", and therefore there may exist some things outside this set,
namely those that are true and CAN be inferred.
Now the statement that "there are some things that are true but cannot
be inferred" itself has been proven to be outside this set (meaning
that the above statement CAN be inferred). thats what I mean. nothing
science's task now is to prove that the "ultimate reality" lies within this set.

I believe that science can do that (define its own limits). that is
why it is worthwhile to persue science in this direction.

Aditya Varun Chadha
adichad AT gmail.com
Mobile: +91 98 400 76411
Home:  +91 11 2431 4486
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