Mind, culture, and the transcendent: A question

I have to give some Hindu computer science students here in Dallas a perspective on the existence of the Christian God.

So this is an intersection of the Christian West, the spiritual East, and secular European science.

Science has such high respectability that these students I think are wandering away from the Hinduism of their parents back in India.

It happens once these young people get exposed to the Western universities.

So they leave behind the transcendent. The invisible, the otherworldly.

I have no idea how to persuade them to walk away from Krishna toward Christ, given they are headed now to Richard Dawkins.

Any suggestions about how to lead the conversation?

1 Like

Why do you have to? Is it a course requirement? Have they asked? Words can never work. They need to see Christ.

1 Like

There is no difference between Krishna and Christ. What is important is that they don’t head down the road to Dawkins.

What’s wrong with starting from Dawkins?

1 Like

If they start from Dawkins they may never find God.

No difference? How is that so?

They are both prophets that help the person on their path towards finding God.

So what? Why would they? What’s at risk if they don’t?

Do you understand Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life. Only through Him can we be saved from our sin and the justice due us. There is no other name by which mankind can be saved.

A person needs to find the path to eternal life. That is what is at risk. If they are humane of course, because if they are inhumane then they are headed for oblivion anyway.

Being “The Way The Truth and The Life” can be said of every prophet. You may believe that Christians have a monopoly but it isn’t so. God is One and there are many paths. The key is to have love, empathy and a viable conscience to act as a guide so that one can walk on the Path of Righteousness.
As for “sin”, it is a word used quite liberally. I have heard it refer to everything from the most trivial to the most inhumane act. I have known people who are inhumane, psychopaths, my mother included, who think that because they have taken Jesus as Lord and Saviour that everything is washed clean. Not so. We need to act in accordance with Justice and repent and have remorse and make amends for wrong doing. Furthermore the gross acts are not done by humane people. The actions of the inhumane are not washed away in the blood of Christ. They go to hell for their actions.

As someone with universalist tendencies I’d be more inclined to respect the choice that keeps their relationships intact at home and within. If you’re seeing Dawkins as representing nothingbut-ism, then there is no reason to pounce to clone them in your own image as soon as they’re vulnerable. Ask yourself what you’d want someone on the other side to do in your place were it your relatives that were in their neck of the woods and facing the dilemma there. That’s my advice.

Why would they be inhumane? Why are the inhumane, whoever they are, headed for oblivion? And what is the path to eternal life? Why would Richard Dawkins not be on it?

If Dawkins is an ethical character, then he is on the path, no matter his atheism.
Inhumane means the person has deadened their conscience. Thus they have no remorse for their actions and they act in selfish ways that does harm to others as they have no empathy, no love. If they deaden their conscience then they have darkened their consciousness. Consciousness has two elements. One is awareness, which can’t be altered and the other is knowledge, which can be declined, so that knowledge doesn’t arise anymore. In some cases that knowledge can be regained but if the knowledge is knowledge of love of others, then declining it means the person has crossed an abyss from whence there is no return. They have set foot on the dark path that leads to eternal oblivion.
The path to eternal life is the Path of Righteousness. To have love, which is the spiritual connectivity with others and God in particular. To retain our spiritual connectivity we must act out of love. We must be considerate of others, i.e. other humane people. We must act ethically. And we must stand against and expose the inhumane to help serve Justice. All this helps to raise our consciousness and gain the light of wisdom. To live in the Lake of Life and Immortality. Immortality is a spiritual state, not a physical one. And it cannot be achieved. It is granted by God on seeing our actions and judging us worthy.

1 Like

Dawkins is at least as ethical as you and me combined. More so. A man of intellectual integrity, courage. Who are these people for whom there is no hope in transcendence?

I don’t know how ethical he is but I wouldn’t put him along side me because he is misguided and discouraging people from being theists. It is one thing for him to be an atheist. It is quite another to discourage and criticize another’s faith in God. Now that doesn’t say he is inhumane.

Those who are inhumane. They have deadened their conscience. This is done in two steps. One is that they hurt others until they feel nothing, indifference. The second is that they gain pleasure from seeing the other’s pain and suffering. Judging from the damage they do, most of which ends up as disease or other forms of harm, I would estimate that they are around 1.5 billion worldwide. They are in every country, in every society, in most families.

And unfortunately they are networked. They are networked out of necessity because to play the underhanded foul games that they play, they need other like-minded people involved. These games are played for various reasons, but to gain power and influence over another person in some sort of relationship is high on the list. They call it “life management”.

The reality is that there is a quiet war being waged by the inhumane to gain power over all humane people, i.e., the 80% majority. This is the so-called new world order that is talked about.

1 Like

First you need to understand the difference between science and religion. Without that you are not going to get anywhere. Fight this battle as if Dawkins represents science, then making yourself the opponent you will already have lost. Science is objective observation, but life requires subjective participation. Science is epistemologically superior but limited. Therefore religion must accept correction from science in order to be reasonable. But a naturalist claim that science is the limit of reality isn’t science anymore and buying into the pretense that life can be lived by objective observation alone isn’t rational to the point of being delusional. If it is just a matter of not wanting to be a part of the wars between religions then that is a different thing and I can well understand. Best you don’t play into that role either.

In other words, don’t make this about your religion, but about whether science is enough for life. When it comes to religion, they are going to make their own choices, though one of the best thing about Hinduism is its complete lack of exclusivity – it easily embraces Christianity anyway. For that reason it is fairly easy for those with a Hindu background to become Christian.

Another thing to be aware of is that India is also the source of Buddhism, which represents an otherworldly understanding which rejects theism, so equating atheism to a rejection of the transcendent will be an obvious non-sequitur to them. And PLEASE, do not make the mistake of characterizing Hinduism as polytheistic. Do that and you will align yourself with the hated Moslems – then you will be dismissed out of hand automatically. (Even if some are totally out of touch with such facts, the conflict between Hinduism and Islam is of legendary proportions)

2 Likes

You’re more ethical than Dawkins because he’s misguided? In what regard? Rationally he’s way ahead of you and his ethics, which I’ve seen him express, follows.

And as for the rest, that’s all of us to one degree and another. Including those who aren’t aware of it.

But don’t worry, God is not incompetent: Jesus saves.

I’m SORRY?

This is a long way from the truth. The vast majority of people are not cruel and don’t do deliberate harm to others. This idea that we are all in the same place is the cover that serves evil. Think about it.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.