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Hinduism Critique

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

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Page 1: Hinduism Critique
Page 2: Hinduism Critique

Hindu MetaphysicsHindu Metaphysics Mankind's main problem is metaphysical not

moral according to Hinduism.

Man has forgotten his true nature and experiences himself to be someone other than what he is.

Experiencing the sacred requires attaining that original state of consciousness which he has lost.

Man must transcend the finite, personal consciousness and merge (or experience ourselves to be) the Infinite Impersonal Consciousness.

Page 3: Hinduism Critique

Hindu EthicsHindu Ethics The caste system obligates one to live

and act according to caste. To do otherwise is bad Karma. It is impossible to believe in human

equality, rights and freedom and affirm Hinduism.

Widows according to Hindu teaching (Laws of Manu 5:156, 158, 161) must remain chaste the rest of their days.

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.

Page 4: Hinduism Critique

Ethics and KarmaEthics and Karma According to the Law of Karma, the world

is completely just. Anything that happens to a person in life

is a reward for action in an earlier life. Most rationalists would maintain that

people are born with physical and mental handicaps because of evil inflicted upon them by other human beings.

Reincarnationists must maintain that all seeming injustices are just.

They are punishments for evil deeds done by the person in some past experience.

Page 5: Hinduism Critique

Ethical EvaluationEthical Evaluation

Reincarnation combined with Karma is morally empty.

No matter what we choose to do or have done (in relation to others), it will be the morally correct thing.

If we do not help people and they suffer, it is just. They deserve it because of bad deeds in the past.

If we help people and they do not suffer as much as they would otherwise, then they did not deserve to suffer as much.

Our intervention, or lack thereof, in matters of human suffering and human rights is inconsequential.

We have no moral duty to protect the defenseless.

There is no such thing as moral obligation.

Page 6: Hinduism Critique

Monism in HinduismMonism in Hinduism Monism is the belief that God, man and the universe

are ultimately one.

Man is infinite consciousness or God, but has become entangled in the finite rational consciousness.

As long as man remains in this state, he is reborn repeatedly in this world of suffering.

The only way to escape is experiencing oneself as the Infinite Impersonal Consciousness.

The techniques of specific yogas are designed to bring about “union” with the Infinite One.

Religious Monism requires man, by its very nature, to suspend our faculties of reason and put our brain in neutral.

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!

Page 7: Hinduism Critique

Hindu EpistemologyHindu Epistemology The Vedas are believed to be eternal.

Devout Hindus cannot accept the fact that there is anything in the universe earlier than the Vedic.

The Universe itself is believed to be eternal.

The Aryans brought the Vedic culture to India.

There are civilizations earlier than the Vedic that inhabited India. This is an archaeologically confirmed fact.

Page 8: Hinduism Critique

Eternality of the Eternality of the UniverseUniverse

Almost all cosmologists now think that the Universe had some sort of a beginning.

The “Big Bang” is the commonly held theory of a finite universe model.

This leaves little room for an oscillating universe or steady state model.

Page 9: Hinduism Critique

SummarySummary1. 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.

2. Humankind is valued exclusively according to caste and roles (women).

3. Human rights, freedom and equality are non-existent.

4. If anyone suffers, they deserve it; period.

5. We have no moral responsibility to relieve the suffering of others. Indeed, we have no moral obligation to others whatsoever.

6. Monism requires that one not be rational about one’s religion.

7. The universe is eternal and oscillating and the sciences of astronomy and geography are incorrect.