[Buddha-l] Hindu Fundamentalism
Leigh Goldstein (d)
leigh at deneb.org
Mon Aug 8 14:12:52 MDT 2005
Richard P. Hayes wrote:
>Public policy, I think, is better based on what all people can observe
>than on what faith-saturated devotees "observe." And that, I think, was
>exactly the point of those who said that there is no scientific basis
>to the claim of Rama's existence.
That is obviously not the point of the statement in question. The point
science somehow provides evidence for the non-existence of Ram and Krishna.
Otherwise the statement would have to read "There is no evidence for the
or non-existence of Ram and Krishna". But that's not what was said. It
My 2 cents is that RH is clearly correct about this.
To make a statement A: "there is no scientific evidence for X" cannot be
interpreted to mean "there is scientific evidence against X". It just
doesn't say that. The statement has nothing to say at all about the
existence or non-existence of scientific evidence against X.
Even for someone who only accepts scientific evidence (however they
understand that term) as valid evidence, this is clearly much weaker than
the claim that there _is_ scientific evidence _against_ X.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as general scientific definition of
valid or conclusive evidence. About the most historically accurate
definition so far is that valid scientific evidence at any time and place is
evidence that is widely accepted by valid scientists at that time and place.
In many cases in the past there has been solid scientific evidence against
things now held to be true and there has been evidence for things now
generally held to be untrue.
So it might not be necessary to be extremely worried about the existence of
scientific evidence for or against any Buddhist teachings, unless it was
extremely well established for a few centuries.
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