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Author Topic:   Hinduism and Reincarnation
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2250
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 16 of 29 (314154)
05-21-2006 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by iano
05-21-2006 8:51 AM


Re: Cows drinking milk
quote:
Surely some scientists of repute did check it out. 24 hours or longer in the case of some statues. Why the relative dearth of information. I googled "milk miracle" "scientific investigation (and other such words)" and got a page and a bit.

Did science presume hoax/illusion and not bother?


Try googling milk miracle skeptic

Heres one:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_n2_v20/ai_18158436

Heres another from Skeptic magazine 1995 v.3 issue 4 p.18 "Milk Miracle Makes Masses Mental"

Skeptics, including the Indian Rationalist Association, explained that most of these statues were white (thus masking the milk trickling down the front of the statue) and/or made of porous marble or plaster, which absorbed the milk. Further, they reported that the phenomenon was connected to the controversial guru, Chandraswami, now being investigated by Indian police for alleged connections to organized crime. (The "miracle" was a warning to leave him alone.)

More background information may be found in several articles in the the London Times between Sept. 23 and 26, 1995. Of particular interest:

Secret is in the Stone, say doubting scientists - Sept. 23, 1995 p.3

In the lap of the gods - Sept. 24, 1995 p.14

From the latter:

Many Indians favour a more sinister explanation. The great milk saga began at 6pm on Wednesday, according to the Indian Rationalists' Association, which investigates reports of the supernatural. Holy men known as sadhus at Haridwar proclaimed through loudspeakers that, the following day, ``Shiva's family will begin drinking milk''. News of the expected miracle spread with bewildering speed.

The sadhus' motives were not to bring peace to the world, but to protect a notorious swami implicated in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi, the prime minister, during the 1991 election campaign, the rationalists claim.

Dubbed the ``greaseball guru'', Chandraswamy is feared for the influence he exercises over Narasimha Rao, the prime minister, and is the claimed confidant of Elizabeth Taylor and the Sultan of Brunei.

Some of the sadhus were identified as the same holy men photographed the previous week in a Delhi street protest against Chandraswamy's arrest. The guru, who meddled in the Harrods' takeover battle between Tiny Rowland and the Fayed brothers, is fighting accusations that he tried to recruit an Israeli mercenary to assassinate Gandhi during the 1991 election campaign. He also denies giving sanctuary to a gang leader who killed a senior police officer.

Chandraswamy has been summoned to appear before a commission investigating the Gandhi killing. But the internal security minister who ordered his arrest, Rajesh Pilot, was summarily ejected from office by the prime minister. Yesterday the swami failed to appear before the commission, pleading back pain and high blood pressure.

From the ornate mansion in Delhi where he holds court sitting on a tiger skin, Chandraswamy was reported to have invoked Ganesh, and had his message relayed to important temples. ``Try and feed Ganesh,'' said one anonymous caller to the Birla temple in Delhi. ``He's simply drinking the milk.''

Just doing my job :)

{Added by Edit}

The admins dont like just quotes and they want people to be on topic so I must add my thoughts.

The "milk miracle" is purported to be one of the proofs of indicators of reincarnation and Hinduism according to the OP. My research indicates skepticism regarding these claims is definately called for as "extraodinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - Carl Sagan. As far as I can tell from my research, the "milk miracle" has been debunked.

Upon closely watching the video, I can even see evidence of the milk fusing with the evidently wet statues under the spoons. I could also see in some instances actual milk running down the statues and congealing at the bottom. The desire to believe should not outweigh ones own immediate common sense perceptions.

Additionally, instances of abusing the faith of the masses for personal gain, as I believe is shown by this incident and which occurs among all religions, should be exposed and vilified by all people regardless of belief. To support such hucksters, because they are part of "my" religion, is an insult to God and humanity.

In this case millions of gallons of milk, which could have been used to feed the poor, were wasted as the believers poured them into the statues. I wonder how many died to further the mecinations of this Chandraswami's thirst for power and self-preservation.

Slightly OT - I hope this post also shows the need to go beyond the internet when performing research in many cases, please feel free to visit your nearest library. - (opinion of an obviously biased librarian)

And please be skeptical, the life you save may be your own (or even someone else's).

ABE - The opinions in the above rant are meant for a general audience and are not necessarily targeted at any individual in this thread.

Edited by anglagard, : Add Skeptic quote

Edited by anglagard, : misplaced quotation mark

Edited by anglagard, : additional info

Edited by anglagard, : My thoughts

Edited by anglagard, : clarification concerning audience

Edited by anglagard, : remove a few words that could have been misinterpreted


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 229 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 17 of 29 (314169)
05-21-2006 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mastertrell
05-17-2006 11:46 AM


Reincarnation? Fraud? Supernatural? What?
"Hinduism and Reincarnation" doesn't seem like a very appropriate title for a thread that is all about some alleged miracle with statues causing milk to disappear.

Such phenomena are pretty much the same thing as the Catholic claims about statues of Jesus bleeding and the Virgin Mary weeping tears and the like.

Maybe they're frauds, maybe there are political or other reasons if so, or maybe they're not frauds, maybe they are truly rationally inexplicable phenomena. But even so, they don't necessarily mean what the pious think they mean.

I would argue that if they are not frauds then they are demonic phenomena, and there's a whole theological framework that makes sense of them from this point of view.

Edited by Faith, : grammar correction


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 229 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 18 of 29 (314174)
05-21-2006 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by anglagard
05-21-2006 1:51 PM


scientific rigor?
I see that people came up with rational possible explanations for the disappearance of the milk, and maybe they are right, but in that case it's hard to see the thing as a politically inspired hoax, as it was just people believing the phenomena who fed the milk to the statues, who had no political axes to grind.

In any case although the explanations have plausibility I don't see any scientific rigor in the investigation. Exactly how much milk could be expected to be absorbed by a statue, or to stick to it either? How much was "fed" them? How much pooled at the bottom?

The problem is that skeptics are no less eager to believe that there is some rational explanation than religious people are to believe in their particular religious explanation, and detailed investigation with genuine lack of bias just doesn't happen on either side of the story.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 21 by tsig, posted 05-21-2006 5:34 PM Faith has responded

  
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2250
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 19 of 29 (314180)
05-21-2006 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Faith
05-21-2006 4:35 PM


Re: scientific rigor?
quote:
I see that people came up with rational possible explanations for the disappearance of the milk, and maybe they are right, but in that case it's hard to see the thing as a politically inspired hoax, as it was just people believing the phenomena who fed the milk to the statues, who had no political axes to grind.

I consider it a form of politically-inspired mass hysteria combined with an overarching need to believe. This is not the only case in history where this has occured. I do not have such great faith in politicians that I would believe any are above such manipulation of religious belief for political purposes. The evidence for Chandraswami's involvement in this hoax is pretty strong according to what I read IMHO.

quote:
In any case although the explanations have plausibility I don't see any scientific rigor in the investigation. Exactly how much milk could be expected to be absorbed by a statue, or to stick to it either? How much was "fed" them? How much pooled at the bottom?

It is a little tricky to perform a rigorous scientific investigation over a purported miracle that happened only one day. However, one could easily test if any of the statues would still absorb liquid today according to the possible models, provided one were allowed to perform such an experiment. In other cases there was outright fraud, as shown in the articles.

quote:
The problem is that skeptics are no less eager to believe that there is some rational explanation than religious people are to believe in their particular religious explanation, and detailed investigation with genuine lack of bias just doesn't happen on either side of the story.

The skeptics didn't waste millions of gallons of milk in a nation with a high level of poverty, the blind-faith believers manipulated by a morally dubious swami and his followers did.

Edited by anglagard, : speling


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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 33176
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 20 of 29 (314186)
05-21-2006 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by anglagard
05-21-2006 5:14 PM


Re: scientific rigor?
Other than the possible issue of wasted resources I don't see much reason for more than reporting it as a news story. It is certainly as well attested as all the Christian Miracles, better attested and documented than most all of the older ones like Jesus ressurection or His changing water into wine.

As for the possibility of fraud, except for it being slightly less sophisticated or technology enhanced, it was no different than that of the snake oil sales men of the 700 Club or that master of hoax and manipulation, Benny Hinn.

If they wish to believe in it as a miracle, I say allow them the same rights of belief and accord it the same overall status as all other miracles.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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tsig
Member (Idle past 1694 days)
Posts: 738
From: USA
Joined: 04-09-2004


Message 21 of 29 (314187)
05-21-2006 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Faith
05-21-2006 4:35 PM


Re: blind faith
The problem is that skeptics are no less eager to believe that there is some rational explanation than religious people are to believe in their particular religious explanation, and detailed investigation with genuine lack of bias just doesn't happen on either side of the story.

skeptics do not belive by defintion


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 229 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 22 of 29 (314193)
05-21-2006 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by tsig
05-21-2006 5:34 PM


Skeptics certainly do have beliefs
The problem is that skeptics are no less eager to believe that there is some rational explanation than religious people are to believe in their particular religious explanation, and detailed investigation with genuine lack of bias just doesn't happen on either side of the story.

skeptics do not belive by defintion

Yes, this is a common belief . . . er, conviction, but I'm afraid this involves a bit of a self-delusion or at least an insistence on such a limited definition of the term that the sense in which I mean it is swept under the rug.

Let me be more specific about how I am using the term. The skeptic is generally A PRIORI dedicated to the principles of rationalism, and rejects all forms of supernaturalism. I certainly found this to be the case before I was a Christian and subscribed to The Skeptical Inquirer.

Carl Sagan is rather famous for his dogmatic pronouncements of his rationalistic beliefs . . . convictions, principles, etc. "All there is and all there ever will be" is a pretty dogmatic belief conviction I'd say. In what meaningful sense is this not a belief? I think anglagard just quoted another of Sagan's similar statements, maybe on this very thread. I'll check later.

When approaching a claim of the paranormal or supernatural, there is simply no doubt that what I said is true, that "skeptics are . . . eager to believe that there is some rational explanation" and that this could easily predispose them to premature conclusions based on what are really no more than merely plausible rational explanations for any given phenomenon. When I used to read SI I was often more befuddled by the end of an article than I was enlightened by it, because their conclusions, though pronounced with the equivalent of a resounding "QED," were rarely truly conclusive, often little more than imaginative plausibilities rather than good proofs. That being the case I'd say their rationalistic bias was doing the talking rather than the evidence.

You may want to object that this isn't a RELIGIOUS belief, perhaps, but I wasn't talking about religious belief as such, merely unfounded belief that can predispose to biased observations.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 229 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 23 of 29 (314196)
05-21-2006 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by anglagard
05-21-2006 5:14 PM


Re: scientific rigor?
This is not the only case in history where this has occured. I do not have such great faith in politicians that I would believe any are above such manipulation of religious belief for political purposes. The evidence for Chandraswami's involvement in this hoax is pretty strong according to what I read IMHO.

Well, again, you may be right, but there still seems to me to be too little really conclusive scientific observation to convince me.

Perhaps I read too fast and missed some of the details. Was an existing hysteria about the statues exploited by the politicians, or was it supposedly created by the politicians in the first place?

I certainly don't doubt that such motives to manipulate could be the case, or that a politician would exploit an existing phenomenon for his own advantage, but for there to be actual planned fraud, it seems to me the manipulators would have had to know in advance that the statues would APPEAR to swallow milk, perhaps even some of the physics or chemistry involved in how that could have occurred. Even the truest believer isn't going to be deceived when buckets of milk start pooling around the statues.

And if they were merely exploiting an existing situation, we're back to asking questions about the physics involved in the phenomenon itself. So again, just how MUCH milk could be accounted for by absorption and displacement into the wetness on the surface anyway? Don't you need to know that? I mean this involved a LOT of people feeding milk to these statues.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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nwr
Member
Posts: 5654
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 24 of 29 (314199)
05-21-2006 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Faith
05-21-2006 6:26 PM


Re: Skeptics certainly do have beliefs
Let me be more specific about how I am using the term. The skeptic is generally A PRIORI dedicated to the principles of rationalism, and rejects all forms of supernaturalism. I certainly found this to be the case before I was a Christian and subscribed to The Skeptical Inquirer.

I subscribed to SI for several years. There was a tendency to dismiss claims in a formulaic way (in my opinion). I thought it not sufficiently skeptical of skepticism. I think you are mistaken, however, to assume that all skeptics are similar to those who write for Skeptical Inquirer.

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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2250
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 25 of 29 (314200)
05-21-2006 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Faith
05-21-2006 6:36 PM


Re: scientific rigor?
quote:
Perhaps I read too fast and missed some of the details. Was an existing hysteria about the statues exploited by the politicians, or was it supposedly created by the politicians in the first place?

Actually both are apparently true. Please read the article in the first link and the last box on post 16. Also, some of the London Times articles go into more detail about the political background but they are not on the internet so far as I know.

quote:
Even the truest believer isn't going to be deceived when buckets of milk start pooling around the statues.

Evidently not, once again please see the article linked in post 16.

quote:
And if they were merely exploiting an existing situation, we're back to asking questions about the physics involved in the phenomenon itself. So again, just how MUCH milk could be accounted for by absorption and displacement into the wetness on the surface anyway? Don't you need to know that? I mean this involved a LOT of people feeding milk to these statues.

Some of the statues were filled with vermiculite or pearlite and some had tubing installed according to the articles I read. The event was preplanned therefore all means of trikery were available to the perpetrators.

quote:
And if they were merely exploiting an existing situation, we're back to asking questions about the physics involved in the phenomenon itself. So again, just how MUCH milk could be accounted for by absorption and displacement into the wetness on the surface anyway? Don't you need to know that? I mean this involved a LOT of people feeding milk to these statues.

I think the sordid details of this so-called miracle speak for itself. I'm sure most scientists have other things to do than investigate claims where motive, means, and evidence of fraud are so readily apparent. If you or the other believers choose to consider them miracles, that is yours or their perogative. I still feel this incident wasted (or in some cases redistributed) millions of gallons of milk that could have gone to feed the hungry. I personally find this morally reprehensible, as did many of the commentators in India.

Edited by anglagard, : missed a / on quote


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 Message 23 by Faith, posted 05-21-2006 6:36 PM Faith has responded

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 229 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 26 of 29 (314203)
05-21-2006 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by anglagard
05-21-2006 7:13 PM


Re: scientific rigor?
OK, sorry, I apparently didn't read carefully enough. I'll take your word for it that it was preplanned and that the statues are well able to absorb a lot of milk. Apparently clearly a fraud.

I jumped on the idea of statues exhibiting odd phenomena because such things are so common in Catholicism.

Oh believe me, I do not regard these things as miracles in any case, even though I think some may well be demonic phenomena. Demons can't perform miracles, only some pretty limited physical tricks, and such tricks are very common among Hindu gurus, and I believe they are likely the explanation for much of the phenomena of apparitions and weeping statues of Catholicism too.

Edited by Faith, : grammar, clarity as usual


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2250
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 27 of 29 (314223)
05-21-2006 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Faith
05-21-2006 7:27 PM


Re: scientific rigor?
No need to apologise to me, I'm just glad you agree with the conclusions I arrived at from my research. Hope I can return the favor soon, even many times over, despite our obvious differences on some other issues. I deeply respect your intelligence and courage, even if it may not seem that way at times, but that is what happens when two people are passionate about strongly-held yet contradictory beliefs.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Faith, posted 05-21-2006 7:27 PM Faith has responded

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 229 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 28 of 29 (314447)
05-22-2006 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by anglagard
05-21-2006 9:04 PM


Re: scientific rigor?
Thanks, anglagard. It is surprising after other things that have been said, but I do appreciate it.

This message is a reply to:
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Brian
Member (Idle past 3744 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 29 of 29 (323741)
06-20-2006 5:52 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by mastertrell
05-17-2006 11:46 AM


Slightly inaccurate
Hinduism supports reincarnation as well as Buddhism.

Technically speaking, this isn’t completely accurate because Buddhism teaches ‘rebirth’ rather that reincarnation.

Reincarnation in Hinduism is the transfer of the ‘soul’ (atman) from one being/creature/plant to another. Whereas Buddhism promotes there being no ‘soul’ (anatman), and that each ‘incarnation’ is in fact only a rebirth of the same entity with nothing transferring between each ‘incarnation’.

Basic explanation can be found here

So the term most often used is rebirth, rather than reincarnation. Reincarnation implies the transfer of an essence, or a soul, while rebirth follows the law of causality, or dependant origination, where this arises because of circumstances which happened before.

Brian


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