[Advaita-l] Is God "unscientific"?

seshan narayanan mdrfan at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 05:11:57 CDT 2005

i wish to raise a few questions regarding the contents of this mail.
while i agree with the general claims made in this, the examples used, i
believe, clearly defeats the purpose.
1. the applicability of certain pramanas to certain kinds of objects
cannot be made in such categorical terms. if you do that a large body of
knowledge that explicitly claim allegiance to the Vedas will have to be
dumped as baseless. Take the case of Ayurveda for instance. A large
number of claims of this particular branch of knowledge are based on
Sruti and the texts that constitute it. And these claims are available
for now verification through the sense organs. Even inference does not
work here. You would well remember the case of Santariskha of 13th
century who had attempted to bring in various new kinds of anumana
pramana. Unfortunately none of them worked. The premises about the
structure of objects that are of great concern to the Ayurvedins were
not available for sense experience. Remember the detailed descriptions
of physiology happens in the Chandogya Upd and u would remember the
amount of detail this discussion offers. Obviously this data by any
stretch of imagination was not available to anyone at that point of time
through one's sense experience. And clearly the text that offers this
description is part of Sruti. Moreover, regarding the specific details
of anatomy and the variety of cases that confronts the practitioner of
Ayurveda, clearly the source for rendering these intelligible are the
Sruti texts. And a practitioner of Ayurveda would have no problems
whatever in admitting that Sruti is the source of his knowledge
concerning the human body. If we accept what this mail says, several of
the Vedangas will have to dumped.
2. the point about prayers is also suspect. Prayers of any kind, apart
from those that describe a deity, are clearly are not translatable to a
propositional form. this being the case , how can this function as a
substitute for the justification?

The point I wish to make is simple. The theories of knowledge and
meta-justificatory principles enshrined in the Sruti are clearly more
accomodating than the claims made on their behalf. Please do not rob
these texts of their flexibility and its open-endedness.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list