Reply To: Shrila Madhvacharya's concept of the sakshi

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Ashish Dalela

Atheists like Richard Dawkins accept that the argument from design is the best argument for God. What is this argument? It says that all of nature’s constants like the Gravitational constant, Planck’s constant, Boltzmann’s constant, Speed of light, etc. are so finely tuned for life, that the tuning presents an act of God. These constants are based on physical properties such as mass, temperature, charge, etc. which we reject as being materially real because the reality is taste, touch, sound, sight, and smell. We also reject the idea that the world is governed by mathematical laws because it is governed by demigods. So, the “best” argument for the existence of God — formulated in a “scientific” Christian sense — is false according to Vedic philosophy.

If you use such arguments, you might win sometimes, but it is not knowledge. It is yet another form of ignorance, which is stilted upon the problems of modern science (e.g. the fact that atomic theory requires 25 such finely-tuned constants). While real scientists are wondering how to reduce all the constants to fewer constants (ultimately just one), the atheists are glorifying the 25 constants, and the anti-atheists are saying these constants were designed by God. In short, neither atheists nor anti-atheists actually advance anything. They are simply reinterpreting the same data in two different ways, to no eventual outcome.

At this juncture, we should distinguish anti-atheism from theism. And that begins with the question: What is God? What is His nature? How does He create the world? And from that theism comes a new science, which is not based on physical properties and mathematical laws, but based on universal principles which are adapted by choices — i.e. some principle is given higher priority over other principles — in different contexts, and that leads to natural phenomena. The principles are universal, but their application is contextual. And that contextuality or diversity is created from universality through will or choice.

So, by knowing the principles, we know the universal truth, but that universal truth does not entail the uniformity of nature or scientific determinism. Diversity is created by mixing ideas using choice, such that some idea is dominant and the other idea is subordinate. This type of understanding of diversity — which arises by the mixing of universal ideas through choice, creating a dominant-subordinate hierarchy — is given in Vedic philosophy. But because we don’t understand it (only the mundane rituals) therefore, we never apply it in an argument. As a result, our rituals are different from the rituals of others, but our philosophy is the same as theirs. And that makes it very easy for the atheist to refute because he is not even trying harder.