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Burden of Proof ?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Neutral Singh, Aug 18, 2004.

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  1. Neutral Singh

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    If there is a disagreement, on whom does the burden of proof lie? For example, if two people are arguing over the existence of God, how is it determined who needs to prove their position?
     
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  3. Eclectic

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    I think whenever there is a disagreement, it should not be about who is winning and who is losing. It should be more about, "What can I learn from this to better myself and help those around me?".

    The question should be whether or not people are willing to listen to the reasons why someone else might have different beliefs than them. In this way, it creates an atmosphere of understanding rather than competition.
     
  4. etinder

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    as a joke in our philosophy dept used to go that a person who believes in the existence of God doesnt need any arguments in its favours and a person who doesnt believe in His existence, no matter what arguments u believe he wont budge.and this would make whole of our department useless.:)

    as said by eclectic above the arguments or in apositive way if we say discussions are only useful if both parties are willing to listen. and i feel that burden of proof lies on both not on any one particular.
     
  5. drkhalsa

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    What I think is when there is argue ment like this

    If the believer is true believer than burden of proof lies on god itself as i think god is not such a dead thing that you have to argue on his behalf for his existence
     
  6. S|kH

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    There's actually a real definition for this.

    Anways, I'll try to write what I think:
    The burden of proof lies upon anyone who makes a positive assertion. For example, the statement that God exists is a positive assertion compared to saying God does NOT exist. In order for the burden of proof to lie upon the negative assertor, the first statement MUST already be true. To prove God does not exist, that is taking the reference viewpoint that God does exist, hence you are proving against the other. For a diety such as God, which over timeless history has never been proven to exist, the burden of proof always lies on the one making the positive assertion.


    One individual says, "Pink bunnies exist orbiting Pluto". The other says "They do NOT exist". Proof lies upon the one saying that they do exist, because if proof lied upon the 2nd individual, than that would already be in reference that the bunnies did exist or at one time existed, hence he is now proving they don't exist. Although with modern science, the 2nd person could also prove this. But, that is relatively new science.
    Just like Darwinian theory of Evolution shattered religious theory when it first came about.

    Science will once again, prevail ;)
     
  7. snavneet

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    Let us consider 2 statements and assume that none of them have been proved.

    1: A is TRUE.
    2: A is FALSE.

    Let us consider A to be "GOD".
    Obviously, both statements are logical opposites of each other. And according to simple logic, we could infer that one of them must be false. Now, someone states that supporters of statement 1 are under larger burden to prove its correctness rather than supporters of statement 2. According to mathematical(scientific) logic, proving the correctness of any one of the statements should be enough to disprove the other. Hence, there is no question of burden of proof if we think in terms of science.
    But, according to sociology, the burden always lies on the group with the lesser number of supporters. Hence, if supporters of statement 2 are lesser than supporters of statement 1 then the burden would lie on group 2 and not on group 1. But that in itself does not prove the correctness of any one of the statements. In the above case, there is an equal chance for any one of the statements to be correct. Hence, it is not right to give more weightage to any one of them.

    I'll just jump to the topic that obviously led to this thread because I wish to share some thoughts with all of you. So, in a nutshell, here they are...

    My thoughts on science and our quest for perfection and the question about God:

    For those who are mostly convinced that God does not exist, here is something to ponder upon. We humans are the best creation of this perfect science. I hope all agree with that.But, look at us, we are not perfect. Science - evolution - nature - has worked really very hard to make us imperfect. A perfect phenomenon or machine is consistent in space and time. But, look at us, none of us behave consistently. We are all different - unique. We are not perfect in so many ways. I hope you agree with that. Furthermore, we are imperfect creations of science, which is supposed to be perfect. Now, why would perfection create imperfection to discover perfection all over again? I say this because we, imperfect creations of a perfect universe, are seeking perfection in everything we do. But, was it really needed in the first place? What is the need for life to exist, if every system worked perfectly without it? Every living thing is imperfect because it has a choice and every dead thing is perfect because it has no choice. Every dead thing behaves according to the perfect laws of science/nature. Unlike the dead things, could we attain perfection and still be alive and aware? Think about this. Look at the highest form of life - us. We are unpredictable. For a human being, one cannot say that if these are the inputs, this and this will be the output. It is just not possible. Then how can an imperfect being know for sure what perfection is? Only a perfect being can know that. How can an animal or a plant know the value of gold or diamonds? Even a human without the knowledge of such precious items would actually not consider these items valuable. Then how can we, imperfect beings, know for sure what perfection is, until we attain that realization? Maybe, someday, we may discover all the laws of science that govern nature. What does that make us? Do we become perfect? We will still remain the sloppy creatures that we are with perfect gadgets in our hands. We will still compete with each other to own these perfect gadgets, to be superior than the others. We cannot become perfect by owning perfect things. So, science is irrelevant if we have to become perfect. How many of us have ever seen a perfect human? Please think about it. Have you ever seen such a human firsthand? Then again, such perfect beings have existed and we've atleast heard or read about them. Our Satgurus for example, were perfect. Why? Because they were always at peace with the Creation. They were always satisfied with what they had and got. Now, they were the beings who actually knew who God is because God as we know, is supposed to be perfect in every way and only perfect beings can truly identify and know God. Even, science, which is perfection cannot help imperfect beings to identify the perfect God. The controllers of science have to become perfect to know perfection. It is not just about having faith. It is about reaching a level of perfection at which you can see the Truth for yourself. Now, please don't oppose these ideas for the sake of opposition. Think on your own about what I've said without using the negative bias that the world has created in your mind about the existence of God. If you continue trying to prove that God does not exist then you will perish before you can ever reach a solution. My request to anyone who is trying to oppose these ideas is that, please try and prove the existence of God JUST TO YOURSELF and you'll find a solution to life's greatest question faster than you could ever have thought. More later...

    Humbly yours.

     
  8. drkhalsa

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    Dear Savneet ji
    Think on your own about what I've said without using the negative bias that the world has created in your mind about the existence of God. If you continue trying to prove that God does not exist then you will perish before you can ever reach a solution. My request to anyone who is trying to oppose these ideas is that, please try and prove the existence of God JUST TO YOURSELF and you'll find a solution to life's greatest question faster than you could ever have thought. More later...

    It was really nice and well written response and really liked your argument of using small life time in proving god exist seems more rational than proving other wise as at end of one search we will find all prevading god and at the end of other argument just nothing .
     
  9. snavneet

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    Sat Sri Akaal Ji.

    My dear SIkh saahib, in your previous post on this thread, you've mentioned that "over timeless history, God's existence has never been proven." I feel it is not right to say such a thing. From all your posts it is quite obvious that you're a very knowledgeable person. But, do you really feel you've sifted through every page of timeless history. It is never right for a scientist to totally deny a possibility. Infact, if you go through the writings and learn about the lives of many of the great Satgurus and Saints, you'll find all the proofs you desire. Our Satgurus have made our quest a lot easier by blessing us with Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. If we devote ourselves to learning from our Shabad Guru, we will find every proof we want about God.

    Another statement you made was that "Darwinian theory shattered religious theory when it first came about." I don't understand how it shattered anything. What Darwin found was how species evolve through natural selection. Now, tell me, if I could understand Einstein's theory of General Relativity just like Einstein did, would that make Albert Einstein any less deserving of his discovery or fame? So, if Darwin found out how species evolve then does that make God non-existent or any less deserving of what He did by Creating the Creation? Veerji, frankly speaking, there are a very few truly religious people in this world, you could probably count them on your fingertips. The rest of us are just struggling with the basics. The so-called religious people of Darwin's time would have probably thought that Darwin was defying some religious concept. But, let me assure you that he probably upset only these so-called religious people who like to remain in the public eye. The truly religious people of that time would have been happy to know that someone has discovered yet another law, rule or process within God's Creation. Do you know that most historians with a scientific outlook like to glorify the achievements of man and project religious groups as a defeated and frustrated band of people. Well, the so-called religious people that most of these historians talk about are not the truly gifted religious ones. The gifted ones rarely come into the public eye and if they do come to the notice of the historians, they are generally ignored because the historians turn a blind eye towards them considering them to be a part of the rest. Well, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji can easily give you the discerning eyes to differentiate the noble, gem-like religious people from the huge number of hypocrites. What these hypocrites during Darwin's time didn't know was that God created the Universe and defined the laws that would govern everything. God's well defined laws do everything on their own! God defined the limits, the constants, the variants when He Created the Universe, due to which, over time everything has evolved. So, the origin and evolution of species is also a result of God's setup. This is what the so-called religious people of Darwin's time failed to understand and it is their ideas that the historians have projected. Truly, religion is not against discovery or invention because all we do in the process is understand God's Creation better. Now, if Darwin had ever come across Guru Nanak Dev Ji, he would have truly understood the crux of what he had discovered! But, it is so very hard to find true Gurus and Saints. Believe me you, they are very rare! Another thing that I want you to know is that there is something within every being in nature, which has always been the same, it is unaffected by space and time and neither is it bound by them. It is what God is truly interested in. It is the "You" in you and the "I" in I. This thing never evolves, infact it doesn't need to. It is perfect and it is within us, lying undetected till now. Only the truly Awakened ones - the Satgurus - know about this "thing". This "thing" is what reveals God to you. When someone talks of self-realization, this is the "thing" that they want to realize. Just like you need a telescope to look at distant galaxies, which are invisible to the naked eye, similarly, we need this "thing" to know God. This "thing" is the ONLY way to know God. And, science is not yet refined enough to know this "thing", due to which it denies its existence. This thing is your soul. Your soul is a backdoor into the "Real Existence". The true existence cannot be had after death if one does not attain it when one is alive. That is the reason why truly religious people never come into the public eye until they attain the real existence, because firstly life is short and being born as a human is also very rare. But once this state of total awareness is attained, you see these pure souls venture out all over the world helping people to reach the same state. This real existence is the existence in union with the whole, which is God. Just like God has many names, so does this state of existence. Sri Krishna called it "Moksha", Jesus called it "Paradise" (Swarg), Gautam Buddha called it "Nirvana", Mahavir called it "Kaivalya" and our Satgurus called the real existence by all these names and many more! So, my dear dear brother, I just request you to learn more about the actual teachings of these awakened souls before commenting on the religious paths that they instated. Many Sikhs including me, although I know too less, would be highly delighted to help you on this path of acquiring the true knowledge of God and the ways and means of reaching the Creator.

    I don't know if I could reach the depths of your mind with this post, but I humbly request you to pursue religious knowledge without the bias towards science. Prove to yourself that the soul exists, that God exists instead of leaving that to others because nobody has the time to prove such things to others, the reason being that very few actually know the hidden truth. Inspite of all you know about science, just imagine for a moment, what if all this really does exist? Wouldn't you be missing everything? Wouldn't you be just left dabbling with meaningless worldly things? Tell me, why would 10 of our Satgurus and all the Bhagats in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji constantly keep telling us to follow the true path? What is there in it for them? Are they asking you for a favour? Think about it. Ever since my first post on your earlier thread, I really wanted to meet you and talk to you about all this because writing down something that I can only feel is very hard! Frankly, I was just like you once and many years back I argued just like you do now. And, I see a reflection of myself in your posts. And, I don't want you to waste time worrying about what science has proved till now or will continue to prove. After all these years, I've just realized that what has to happen, will happen. Science will progress, it will conquer the stars, but it will never conquer the inner self. And that is the real quest. Our personal quest. Science might be a group effort, but self-discovery can come only through one's own efforts. So, please, my dear brother, try to understand me. Truly embrace Shabad Guru in your life and let It reveal to you, your inner self. You may continue to gain worldly knowledge, but don't let it become the basis of your life. It cannot teach you how to live life and how to discover the truth. Only Satguru Ji can. I've spent many years of my life gaining a lot of the knowledge of the world. And, can you guess what I've realized? That it can only help me to earn a living, that's it. In the end, when the moment of death comes, it will come to no avail. And, then, when the truth is revealed to me only for a moment before I'm reborn into this world as someone else, my soul will ache with infinite discontent because I would have again missed the greatest opportunity of uniting with my Beloved Lord, God. And, our Satgurus don't want any of us to face that terrible moment.

    Maybe you've already heard of this quote from the great scientist Albert Einstein, but I'll quote it anyway:

    "Religion without Science is blind and Science without Religion is lame."

    So, there is nothing wrong in learning about science because it is an instrument that can help you survive longer and better. It will also help you AVOID the superstitious, ritualistic and hypocritical people who want to trap you. But, WITHOUT truly following the path (religion) that your Satguru has laid down for you, you are going nowhere...

    Bhul Chukk Di Khima Mangdaa Haan.

     
  10. S|kH

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    The fact that the question still exists today of whether God exists or not, and there has never been a true monopoly over the answer, shows that God's existence has never been proven thoroughly enough. No one questions the basis of evolution as much, because its widely accepted as true. (The basis of it, not every detail that has been listed). There IS a POSSIBILITY of God's existence, but my views are that is very, very small. A mere possibility does not provide sufficient evidence for existance. There is also a possibility that Hell exists, and Satan is God's rival.

    Now, if we devote ourselves to LEARNING the Guru's shabad which clearly depicts that we should learn, and contemplate it. CONTEMPLATE, means to sit and discuss the ideas presented and if they help you, heal you in anyway.

    See, your getting it mixed up. Remember, there are NUMEROUS religions in the world, and they differ in their perspective. Christianity and Judaism say God DIRECTLY created Humans. Adam and Eve, the original sin.
    Sikhi does not state explicitly what God's creation was, so we intrepret as we like. If it were true that God directly created humans, I'm sure you would be taking the stance that Sikhi states God created humans directly and so forth, and not saying God was just the creator of the beginning.

    So the historians depicted the "truly religious people" wrongly, but you managed to have it all figured out?...Your mistaken, Darwins theory of evolution shattered theological stances that MANY religions took. And in the last sentence, you state there is something within every being in nature, which has always been the same....that does not prove God exists, your simply assuming there is something, you must prove it with evidence.

    But you've managed to find this "thing". If you've found it, why can you not show prove to everyone that it is clearly and distinctly there. I'm sure scientists know more than you do about their field of study.

    Your last paragraph is true, but you do not need to believe in a God above us all that makes it true. God can be inside us, and can have a different scientific name, its just the thing that makes us want to help end human suffering, gives us a purpose to go end it. You can supress it if you want, but its still there.

    This God differs from a God that creates all and stands above us, and we are governed by it.

    G.O.D. - Gaining One's Definition.

    I make the claim that I do not believe in a God above us, who controls things, and sends down a Messiah every now and then. If anything, I'd probably be more along the lines of a agnostic-deist. I do not think the Gurus were "God-sent", or Jesus was "God-sent". I do not believe in prophecy. I do think the knowledge described in SGGS is of enormous value. But, I do think it was written as a direct reference of God's existence. The authors, after all, I regard as humans. I do not believe in a Superhuman, or Superman.

    I do believe human nature is to be good and kind, and this must be flourished to end human suffering. I do think that this should be the goal in anyones life, and as I described my "re-incarnation" theory in the other thread, I do believe their are distractions to this goal.

    Hope that clears my stance up a little on this topic.
     
  11. S|kH

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    The fact that the question still exists today of whether God exists or not, and there has never been a true monopoly over the answer, shows that God's existence has never been proven thoroughly enough. No one questions the basis of evolution as much, because its widely accepted as true. (The basis of it, not every detail that has been listed). There IS a POSSIBILITY of God's existence, but my views are that is very, very small. A mere possibility does not provide sufficient evidence for existance. There is also a possibility that Hell exists, and Satan is God's rival.

    Now, if we devote ourselves to LEARNING the Guru's shabad which clearly depicts that we should learn, and contemplate it. CONTEMPLATE, means to sit and discuss the ideas presented and if they help you, heal you in anyway.

    See, your getting it mixed up. Remember, there are NUMEROUS religions in the world, and they differ in their perspective. Christianity and Judaism say God DIRECTLY created Humans. Adam and Eve, the original sin.
    Sikhi does not state explicitly what God's creation was, so we intrepret as we like. If it were true that God directly created humans, I'm sure you would be taking the stance that Sikhi states God created humans directly and so forth, and not saying God was just the creator of the beginning.

    So the historians depicted the "truly religious people" wrongly, but you managed to have it all figured out?...Your mistaken, Darwins theory of evolution shattered theological stances that MANY religions took. And in the last sentence, you state there is something within every being in nature, which has always been the same....that does not prove God exists, your simply assuming there is something, you must prove it with evidence.

    But you've managed to find this "thing". If you've found it, why can you not show prove to everyone that it is clearly and distinctly there. I'm sure scientists know more than you do about their field of study.

    Your last paragraph is true, but you do not need to believe in a God above us all that makes it true. God can be inside us, and can have a different scientific name, its just the thing that makes us want to help end human suffering, gives us a purpose to go end it. You can supress it if you want, but its still there.

    This God differs from a God that creates all and stands above us, and we are governed by it.

    G.O.D. - Gaining One's Definition.

    I make the claim that I do not believe in a God above us, who controls things, and sends down a Messiah every now and then. If anything, I'd probably be more along the lines of a agnostic-deist. I do not think the Gurus were "God-sent", or Jesus was "God-sent". I do not believe in prophecy. I do think the knowledge described in SGGS is of enormous value. But, I do not think it was written as a direct reference of God's existence. The authors, after all, I regard as humans. I do not believe in a Superhuman, or Superman.

    I do believe human nature is to be good and kind, and this must be flourished to end human suffering. I do think that this should be the goal in anyones life, and as I described my "re-incarnation" theory in the other thread, I do believe their are distractions to this goal.

    Hope that clears my stance up a little on this topic.
     
  12. snavneet

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    Sat Sri Akaal Ji.

    Dear SIkh saahib, please also give your response to the earlier post I made on this thread. The one you replied to is the more recent one.

    Waiting for your response.
     
  13. snavneet

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    Sat Sri Akaal Ji.

    Dear SIkh Saahib, please also respond to my first post on this thread if you get some time. And I would also like to request others to take part in this lovely conversation, if they have the time.

    I will respond to your previous post line-by-line because I feel that our responses do not address everything we write within a post. We tend to skip those statements towards which we have nothing to say.

    The reason why the question still exists today is that most people who doubt God's existence know some bit about science but have only superficial knowledge of the teachings of the great Satgurus and Saints. The process of proving something in religion is very similar to the scientific process. In science, someone first comes up with a theory. Nobody starts believing a theory without proof, right? So, the scientist has to get together with like-minded people and has to test the theory practically. When the observations match the assumptions made in the theory, the scientist proclaims what (s)he has found. And most of the world starts believing it to be true without actually understanding the theory or going through the observations. These are the people who "trust" or "have faith" in the scientific community. Of course, they can carry out the same tests to confirm the theory's validity on their own, but a majority of people don't, becaue they get to see working applications of the theory. Now, with respect to religion, a person comes up with a theory that God exists. He tells the world about the same but nobody believes him. So, he decides that he has to get together with like-minded people, the "Satsangat", and then begins performing the practical techniques of finding God. Techniques like Simran and Meditation. Gautam Buddha came up with the theory that there has to be a way to end all suffering permanently. He first tried the techniques of the Sadhus and Yogis. He attained a certain state but did not consider it to be the ultimate state that he later called "Nirvana". He decided to carry on his search alone. He decided that he will continue meditation until he reaches the state of eternal bliss. And indeed, he found Nirvana. And then he began the process of his journeys on foot. He travelled long distances telling people about his observations. Now there were some who believed him without question and there were others who doubted him completely. Now, for the doubters to know how Buddha's experiment was successful, they would have had to carry out the same experiment on their own, isn't it? Just like scientists confirm another scientist's discovery by testing it independantly. So, a few people followed Buddha and found the Truth but many still continued to ridicule his theory, mostly because they were not ready to put all the effort that was required for the experiment. So, just like scientists, saints come up with a theory or decide to challenge an existing one and they decide to prove it just like scientists do. And once they know that their theory is correct, they proclaim it to the world. Now, to further their observations, scientists come up with practical applications of their theory, to convince the populace. Similarly, Saints bring forth the practical applications, which are a result of their quest. These practical applications are actually the perfect God-like behaviours that such awakened saints exhibit without fail. For example, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, remained satisfied even when people made Him sit on a burning iron plate and poured burning sands on Him all day long and that too during summer time. His body failed Him, but His soul was blissfully in Union with God. There are countless examples in Sikh history of the practical applications of the confirmed theory of our Satgurus. And you can find a gist of it in our daily Ardaas to Waheguru. Now, a scientist creates working gadgets to convince people about his theory. Satgurus exhibit qualities and behaviours to convince people about their discovery. Now, some people believe both of them without question. But if someone really wants to know how and why the scientist's gadget works then that someone will have to study the scientist's theory and gadget in complete detail. To know why and how Satgurus are able to exhibit such superhuman qualities throughout their lives without any change, we will have to follow the same path to discover what they found. Now, the path of the Satgurus is very hard and requires a lot of patience and persistent effort, due to this most people don't attempt to follow it and many who attempt don't wait till the end and then there are a very few left who actually reach the end of their search. Why is it so hard you say? Here you are trying to discover the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of every scientific process that makes our universe go round. So, the research, as scientists would call it, has to be superhumanly intense. Obviously, understanding little scientific theories is a lot easier for most humans and due to this none of us wants to carry out the religious experiments on our own. Moreover, science is making most of us too too lazy to work on this personal quest. Okay, anyway, did you know what Buddha said to His disciples when they asked him why He didn't talk about God when preaching? He told them that, "There is no use of talking about God with people who are asleep." We are all in a sleeping state my dear. So, if Buddha would have spoken of God to such people then they would have interpreted His teachings based on their own worldly understanding. These people would have made stone Gods, river Gods, sun Gods, etc. and wasted their lives by creating meaningless diversions from the true path. And Buddha decided that such people should only be told about how to get there and not who they are trying to get to. This is the reason why Hindu Brahmins in India, who followed similar rituals pertaining to polytheism, tried to eradicate Buddhism from India and succeeded to a large degree. Gautam Buddha, based on the understanding of the people of His time, decided to let people discover who God is once they reach the end of their spiritual quests. That is the reason why Buddhists don't talk about God.

    Evolution via natural selection is a good theory. But, nobody has actually seen evolution taking place in real time because it takes a lot of time and our lifespan would never permit us to see it happening. Most of us believe it because it sounds plausible, just like many believed in Newton's gravitational principles for nearly 200 years without question, because they thought it was plausible. And then Einstein came and proved it all to be an approximation. And in the beginning everybody rejected Einstein's theory except Max Planck who was the only one who could understand Relativity back then. It took two decades for Relativity to be widely accepted. And, relativity and evolution are too small when compared to the question of God's existence. And, actually, not many people care about evolution because it has no serious consequence on their present lives. If evolutionary theory could suddenly predict that some change in every man's body would make man extinct within a century then everyone would get interested. That is the time when you would find millions of believers and non-believers in the theory of evolution. For now, people just accept it because it's not affecting their lives right at the moment.

    Gurbani DOES NOT AGREE with the point that the possiblity of God's existence is very small. In fact, the Mool Mantar, which is where Gurbani starts, clearly defines God and His qualities and says that God can only be attained as Satguru's parsaad. So, let me assure you that there is no scientific way of knowing God and sooner or later, everyone is going to know about this. Gurbani also clarifies that hell is not a separate region in space, infact, all suffering that people experience on this planet is the only hell. This is where the idea of Karma comes in. And according to Gurbani, the Satan or the devil is actually our own mind over which we sleeping ones have barely any control, it makes us do evil things. This is where the 5 Vikaars - Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh and Ahankaar come in. They are the real devils and they take shelter in our mind. Now, "Contemplate" doesn't actually mean to sit and discuss. Discussion requires speech, speech requires the mind and the mind does not listen to its host, it shelters the 5 devils. Contemplation actually means observing the actions that the mind performs with full attention and awareness. It is a stage in meditation. When you contemplate, you observe your own actions or thoughts as if you were a third person. When you truly become aware of your actions, the mind fails to commit any wrong actions. Just like we shy away from an immoral act if someone else whom we know, suddenly takes notice of our wrong act. Once this contemplation is achieved, the next stage of spiritual evolution itself comes upon us. This is the beauty of the spiritual path, as you move further, more beautiful facts of the other realm are revealed to you intuitively. You'll never have to read a million books to gain knowledge of the other realm. Hence, religious paths laid down by the great Satgurus are for everyone. Any person, even who has not had any formal education can walk this path. Everything is revealed to you as you progress. This is self-realization!

    Veerji, tell me what difference does it make if someone says that God made us Directly or Indirectly? The truth remains that God made us, isn't it? Are we not just playing with words here? Gurbani clearly says that God made us all, our bodies and our souls and everything else that we see around us. Even if our bodies get created indirectly, it is his well-defined processes that create us, isn't it? And as I've said earlier, according to Gurbani, God only wants the human spirit to reach the state of total perfection. The body is bound by the rules that govern nature and acts as a temporary housing for our soul while we balance our karma, it really has no other purpose. Basically, God created the beginning and he also created time (kaal), which is God's instrument to change everything. Time creates us and kills us. So, Gurbani also maintains that God Created everything directly because everything works according to his laws.

    Veerji, it is wrong to say that a religion took some stance towards Darwin's theory. A religion is made once and for all. It does not change. It teaches you how to live life, find a Satguru and through Him reach God. The stance that you are talking about was taken by the "so-called religious people", who thought that they were the proprietors of those religions. A truly religious stance can only be had from a Satguru, one who created the path for others to follow. Did Jesus Christ come and tell Darwin that what he was doing was wrong? The hypocrites with their meek understanding of their religions made personal translations of their Satguru's words and projected their views as the Satguru's views.

    In my first paragraph of this post, I've already told you how to prove the existence of the soul to yourself. Unless you carry out the experiment as mentioned by our Satgurus, you'll not find your soul. Perform the experiment with due diligence on your own and discover the truth for yourself. Nobody can be convinced through mere words about this higher plane of existence, it has to be felt. How can anyone truly feel someone else's sense of achievement? If I climbed Mount Everest and felt totally elated then how could I make you feel the same by just telling you about it. It has to be experienced first-hand. And experiencing your own soul and God are experiences totally beyond what you've already experienced, so one cannot learn even by comparison. It is beyond simple comprehension.

    Veerji, when you say "scientists", you imply a group of people. Even I'm a computer scientist, I know about computers, but if you ask me about Zoology or Metallurgy, I might not know much, except some general knowledge. So, don't compare me to a huge group of people. Every individual is specialized only in certain fields. No one knows about everything. Only Satgurus, the perfectly awakened ones, know everything. All I mentioned was that science is not yet refined enough to know the soul. Now, do scientists know about every phenomenon in this Universe? No. This is the reason I said that. What I meant was that as science grows further, as it begins to explore deeper and deeper it will find new facts and might one day know something about the connection between the body and our conscious selves; as scientists generally refer to the soul. And, this is what some of the worlds greatest scientists have said during the later stages of their lives. I would like to draw quick references to Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose and Albert Einstein who have all made such statements.

    Veerji, who told you that God stands above us and governs all of us? Are you referring to the God mentioned in the Old Testament? Besides, hasn't he given you a freedom of choice? You're exercising that freedom to deny His existence, so is he harming you in any way for that? My dear, God is always merciful. He is a fountain of mercy. And, who forces you to believe in God? Did our Satgurus ever force anyone to believe in God? Never. They only asked us to follow a path at the end of which the Truth would be revealed; the soul would be revealed; God would be revealed. Who is asking you to get convinced about God in just a moment? I've just been constantly telling you to follow the path that our Satgurus have laid down for us and we would automatically know all there is to be known. Perform it as an experiment, what's wrong in it? And tell me, if everyone Gains One's own Definition about GOD, how would there ever be peace in the world? That would result in further discrimination and religion would again come to be blamed. Religion is actually meant to unite people and communities, but in the hands of hypocritical and fanatical people, it has become an instrument of separation. But, that is not the religion our Satgurus have taught us about.

    Firstly, if you believe that a Superhuman stands for a person who can perform miracles then you're mistaken. The true superhuman is one who has conquered one's own mind. Our Satgurus are Superhuman because although they had human form, their minds were perfectly God-like. For now, it is alright if you don't believe in prophecies or messiahs. It is not what God expects of you. Our Satgurus never said that. It is what we, the followers, call our Satgurus (the Messiahs) because once we realize the truth for ourselves, we find out that they came to deliver us from all this suffering. Infact, Satguru Nanak Dev Ji, only told everyone that He had found union with the Infinite Lord, Waheguru. He just gave your deism a firm footing. Let God be the foundation of your every action, that is what he told us. And what is so wrong about believing in God the way our Satguru defines Him.

    Our Satguru Granth Sahib Ji gives us the following basic description of God, which you must be aware of. But I've to quote this again because on one hand you say that the knowledge of Satguruji is of enormous value and on the other hand you're barely ready to accept the foundation lines of Gurbani, which clearly mention that God is True.

    Ik Ong Kaar - There is only One Creator, Sat Naam - He (and His Name) are True, Karta Purakh - The Creative Doer, Nirbhau - Without Fear, Nirvair - Without hatred, Akaal Moorat - The Timeless Being, Ajooni - One who is beyond Birth and Death, Saibhang - One who is self-illuminated, Gur Parsaad - One who can be received as a gift from a Satguru, Aad Sach - God was true in the beginning, Jugad Sach - God has been true throughout the ages, Hai Bhi Sach - God is True now, Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach - And God will remain True forever!

    Isn't that a great description? Isn't that a direct reference to God? Moreover, when one unites with God, one attains all the perfect qualities, just like our Satgurus did. And with those perfect qualities, how can anyone perform a bad deed? How can there ever be suffering in this world? This world will become the perfect paradise. That is the reason why we have religions. They're the great ships that help us cross the terrible world-ocean. That is the reason why we believe in God. We do it to attain that perfect state in which every deed we do becomes the epitome of true service to the entire Creation. I'm sure that if intellectuals like you truly embrace Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji's teachings and bring them to the world's notice then you all would take the first step in eradicating suffering from this world. The science that you are so proud of is nothing but an instrument that can be used to perform good deeds, but it can easily be used by a diseased mind to add even more suffering to the already suffering human race. Think about all this.

    Veerji, putting an end to all kinds of suffering is truly our goal. But, let me tell you that, science alone will never help you do that. That's the reason I quoted Einstein in my previous post, implying that even such a great scientist could finally understand what the importance of religion is. But the control that fanatics exercise on most world religions has to be brought to an end. And we need good intellectuals like you to explore the depths of Gurbani and then take up a righteous stance by putting the teachings of Gurbani in the world's perspective.

     
  14. S|kH

    S|kH
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    Incorrect, even in criminal cases the burden of proof lies upon the accuser.
    Let's take an example, Someone commits a crime and goes to court for it. Now, lets break it into easy steps :
    1) A is true (he committed the crime)
    2 A is false (he did not commit the crime)
    The burden of proof lies upon the individuals that are claiming the positive assertion, or the ones that claim he DID commit the crime.

    Quoted, "In a Criminal proceeding, the Burden of Proof is on the Prosecution to prove that the accused defendant actually did commit a crime.

    In other words, if someone desires to detain you, restrict your legal rights, or accuse you of a crime, the 'Burden of Proof' requires them to prove that you have indeed violated a Law or committed a crime.

    A window tinting citation is a Criminal Complaint! The 'Burden of Proof' requires the Officer and the Court to prove, 'beyond a reasonable doubt', that a violation or crime has occurred. "

    Another source states :
    "Outside a legal context, "burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: it is not sufficient to say "you can't disprove this".

    For example, if a person says "The Chinese government is plotting to poison our water supply" it is that person's burden of proof to prove this plot is actually occurring. If he can provide evidence that shows that the plot exists, then it becomes the skeptic's burden of proof to disprove the claim with facts of his own.

    A classic example comes from Criswell's final speech at the end of Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space: "My friends, you have seen this incident, based on sworn testimony. Can you prove that it didn't happen?". Considering that the incident in question involved grave robbers from space, the burden of proof is being incorrectly assigned."

    Now, there are two statements, "Prove God's existence." and "Disprove God's existence". You can not ask for the latter.


    Our Gurus were humans, and humans are imperfect as you claim so. Theres a story of Guru Gobind when he was on the battle field, and he met a fellow Sikh who was giving water to the wounded muslims, and Guruji asked him, "What are you doing", and the soldier stated, "It is my duty to see and serve all humankind as one", and Guruji said "Very nice, I am pleased with that answer". My intrepretation of this story shows that the Gurus were at peace and open to new ideas also, and one could go beyond the Gurus, the Gurus created a base of knowledge to grow off of.

    We greatly differ in our intrepretations of the Gurus and their lives. I do not think the Gurus were perfect human beings, because I think if someone is merely born human, they are automatically subject to imperfection. You even said yourself, that perfection is consistent with time and space. The Gurus were born, and the Gurus died. They were subject to all the perfect laws of nature and science like every human being. They died, meaning they do not exist anymore, and their life was subject to the same as every other human. For if they were perfect beings of God, than why were they even born humans, who are innately subject to the imperfection of death. For if you take God to be perfect, AND the Gurus to be perfect, than you are assuming the Gurus are still alive like God supposedly is. Which I understand is part of Sikh theology, that one becomes "one with God". This is a matter of faith, you can not prove this. Like I said before, God's existence is a small chance, but it is possible. There is NO proof of God's existence. It relies solely upon the faith of an individual.

    You state that if I continue to think that God does not exist I will perish before I can ever reach a conclusion. That does not matter to me, for if I just believed in God without proof than I would just be a blind person my entire life and my mind-state in the same turmoil.

    Anyways check this quote, its cool, " I have met many more militant skeptics than I have believers who look as if they were going to toss and turn all night unless they developed an airtight proof for the existence of God."

    I'll respond to your other post a bit later on.
     
  15. snavneet

    snavneet
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    Sat Sri Akaal Pyareyo,

    I'm enjoying this conversation. Let's carry on! Others please join us. (Waiting for your reply to my previous post too!)

    Dear Veerji, firstly we are not talking about a legal case when we are trying to prove/disprove the existence of God. No jury is going to decide who is right between the both of us. We will have to keep debating unless we reach some agreement. Neither am I committing a crime by saying that God exists and nor are you by saying that He does not exist. So, don't compare it to legal cases. And, you did not reply on the other point I made based on sociology, according to which, the burden would lie on the group with the lesser number of supporters. Now that is what usually happens in real-time debates, like we had during our school time. Both groups would put forth their points during a debate, which were later judged by the audience through voting. We never needed supporting documents during a debate. This is quite different from a legal case, isn't it? Nobody is being incriminated over here. Nobody's morality or right character is being questioned here. Hence, it cannot be compared to a legal case. After a debate ends and the voting phase is over and if a candidate wins, it is because (s)he has more supporters. In case 51% of humanity supported my viewpoint that God exists and 49% supported your viewpoint then you would be under a larger burden to gather more support by whatever means possible. No jury can decide who is right amongst the two of us. I hope you understand. This is the precise reason that George Bush has been elected to be the president of America for the second term because he has more support. Even if you don't like his policies, he is still your president. No panel of juries decided whether his policies are right or wrong. He was elected by the people of America. The American society acted as the jury. So, while proving the existence of God, we are looking for such a support. We cannot take our argument to court because this has nothing legal or illegal in it. There is no law that stops someone from believing in something or the other. In the end, every human being has the right to believe in whatever (s)he wants. So, please don't compare this argument with legal ones. They do not fall in the same category. Now, let's consider a legal case, where person 1 has murdered person 2. In this case, only the law interferes. If person 1 can be associated with the crime, (s)he will be taken to court. In that case, the people who believe that person 1 did not commit the crime will have to come up with their supporting points. Even legal cases are not settled by dealing only with one party involved in the case. There is no question of burden of proof there. One group supporting person 1 might come out with a proof of his innocence following which the party incriminating him will have to bring forth a follow-up proof. In the end, the decision is taken based on who has more valid supporting proofs. That's the reason we have a prosecutor and a defender and both parties go looking for adequate support. It is not just one party that looks for proofs. And, you know, every legal case doesn't end with the right decision. Sometimes, this murderer who should be punished might be set free. So, our legal system is not perfect. You know when the decision was first made to crucify Jesus Christ, he was compared with a criminal called Barabbas, who had committed many heinous crimes. The authorities decided to ask the people as to who should be released from prison based on their policy of releasing one person every year, if the public desired. They asked, "Should Jesus who just calls himself the king of the Jews be released?" or "Should Barabbas, who committed so many heinous crimes be released?" Now, since majority of the Jewish priests hated Christ, they'd already convinced their followers that Christ should be crucified for JUST SAYING that he was their king! They could have easily considered him to be a crazy person like Herod did, but they decided to crucify him anyway. Now, I ask you, and please do answer. Who would you have selected to be released? I'm sure you wouldn't have supported Barabbas because he had murdered 100s of people and could harm society once again. Jesus was just saying something and had to suffer such immense torture due to what he said. Finally, it was the people that decided who should be released even though logic suggests that Barabbas shouldn't have been released in any case. Even though I felt that the incrimination of Jesus was wrong, I wouldn't have been able to save him because there wasn't enough support on my side. The democracies of today are not very different either, here every single person's vote counts. I vote for whichever candidate I like. Nobody can ask me to justify my decision. Nobody can ask me for proofs as to why I selected one candidate over another. Legal cases require physical proofs, social issues do not. And the belief in the existence of God is a social issue. That's the reason I keep saying that proof will not come from outside, it will come from within you. Our Gurus have told us that when the 9 doors of the body close, the 10th door opens, which reveals the whole Truth. Our Gurus have also explained to us about how we can find God. They have clearly stated that external quests will never reveal the soul and God. Now, when there is a method given by them, why don't we try to follow that too, to discover for ourselves if God exists or not. Don't be the person who sits at the edge of a river and keeps saying that the river is too shallow for my boat to float. Instead jump into it to find out for yourself. And, if you find that the riverbed is very shallow then forget it, carry on only with your science and live this life fully because you feel that we get to live only once. Who is forcing you to believe in God? What if the riverbed is really deep, you could then jump in with your boat and reach your ultimate destination. We should look at the argument from both perspectives by gaining enough knowledge of both. If we just keep learning more and more about science and compare it with our basic knowledge of religion then how could this comparison be considered fair? We should learn equally about both. You said earlier that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is of enormous value, but have you really explored it in the way you've explored or learnt about science. Our schools don't teach us much about religion and if they do, it's in a very shallow manner. But we keep learning science for 16 to 20 years of our education. It is natural that our views will be less biased towards God and religion. Even parents these days don't have enough time to learn about religion and teach their children any religious concepts. This is very very unfair towards religion. We are fools to let such a great library of knowledge fall into the hands of a few religious hypocrites and fanatics, who've created a very wrong impression of religion all over our modern world. Actually, as you already know, religion is meant to heal the world, it teaches you how to live your life completely. What is wrong in learning more about it? And, over that, you might get the bonus of discovering something more than what the world can give you. There's a chance that you could discover your soul and God. We've traded the most precious gem(religion) for stones(worldly knowledge).

    I've already answered to this in the above paragraph. Firstly, the quest for God is not a criminal proceeding. And secondly, if the prosecution does come up with one proof that incriminates the defendant then the defendant too has to come up with something to disprove the prosecutions claims. A legal case ends when one group fails to support its claims or when there is not enough viable evidence from both the groups. The final decision is taken by considering proofs from both groups. Now, let's consider your earlier statement about "Pink bunnies orbiting pluto". By using present day science, I could easily deceive you. Using image processing technology I could easily come up with photos of realistic bunnies orbiting pluto. Now, since I've the photos, you've no right to ask me how I got them. Now, it would be your turn to gather proofs against me. To disprove my claim, you would have to show the jury that making such photos is a sleight of hand and that you could do it too using computers. But, tell me, what if I've actually taken the photos of those bunnies? How will I ever be able to prove that they exist if science is easily able to create duplicates and refute my claims. Even if I brought photos and videos and hair samples of the bunnies you would still continue to refute my claims saying that it is easy to generate such proofs using present day science. To actually convince you that pink bunnies orbit pluto I will have to take you to that place. You will definitely not be convinced just with my proofs. So, to know if God exists, you will have to follow the techniques that our Satgurus have taught us. You will have to go to that place! You will never get convinced otherwise. Now, even if I could somehow ask Guru Nanak Dev Ji to appear in front of your eyes and talk to you and convince you about God, you will try your best to prove all that to be false. You will not even believe your senses. This is the reason that God does not reveal Himself to every Tom, {censored word, do not repeat.} and Harry. No offense meant, I can assure you I'm one of these too! But, since I can't trust even my senses, I've to reach that level of perfection where a new sense is revealed to me. A sense that cannot be deceived. The sense that comes through our souls. Let me give you a crude and earthly example. Now, suppose you like watching movies and are very eager to see the next Matrix movie. And suppose I saw it before you and spoiled everything for you by telling you the story, then you would not really look forward to watch it with the same zeal and enthusiasm. Instead, if you experience it for yourself firsthand, without knowing anything about it, you'll enjoy it a lot more, won't you? So, if I just told you that the movie is really good and you should watch it for sure then nothing is spoilt for you. You'll still have to go to the theatre or rent a video to watch it and get convinced on your own. In the same way, our Satgurus have told us everything about how good the final revelation is and how to get there, but they did not tell us what we would sense or feel once we reach there. That would spoil everything for us. Experiencing something firsthand is something totally different. And, infact in the case of God, the experience is different for everyone and the bliss never ends. We enjoy in every which way and that too for eternity! Now, what are you seeking in this world - satisfaction, happiness, enjoyment, peace, end of suffering, etc. Our Satgurus have told us that we all deserve this and we could get it forever and ever! Then what is wrong in giving it a shot. What is wrong in believing them for once and walking the path. You already believe that their knowledge can heal humanity. Then, why not actually walk the path. Why not do Simran and Meditate and follow their suggestions and attain that perfect state of bliss? To me all this is very exciting. And I wish that you too start feeling the same way. I haven't reached there, but I know that it is my ultimate destination. Then why not get on with it right now, Veerji! For once, just forget all that reasoning about science and religion. No need to compare them. Use science for survival and use religion to reach the ultimate bliss. I don't see anything wrong in that.

    How can anyone come up with a theory and proclaim it to the world without something to support the claims?! If I came up with a new theory and wanted the world to know about it, I wouldn't come forward without any basic proofs. And, if you talk about Mathematics and Science, I can assure you that I can come up with any theory I want and I can challenge you to disprove it with only some basic points to support my claim. That is how science has progressed so far. Isaac Newton came up with his theory on gravity and challenged his peers to disprove it. Nobody could firmly disprove it and they decided to accept it for the time being. Then Einstein could challenge it and disprove it 200 years later so now we've got to learn Einstein's theory of Gravitation! Funny, isn't it? Look at all of us ordinary humans, we just assume that some theory is right if we can't disprove it! My dear, if Einstein hadn't disproved it by taking the burden of disproving the earlier theory on himself, we wouldn't be flying such highly precise robotic missions to Mars and beyond. During my school days, I remember proving many theorems in geometry by assuming that what the theorem states is wrong and then trying to prove it wrong. If I failed to prove it to be wrong then it had to be right. In science or math, many theories have been proved by trying to prove first that what they say is wrong! And, if you ask me I remember many such simple theories.

    No one will say that without some justification. If I were to claim something like that then I would have some supporting argument. I might atleast have to tell them that I overheard a reliable Chinese official saying something like this. Let's leave that to the spies. They are meant to gather proof for the government. And, these days it is not safe to deny even such small claims. With people like Osama, hellbent on attacking so many nations, it is our duty to explore even the smallest of clues. I'm sure if you made the above claim in front of your government, they would not reject it outright. First they will check your background and then they will do some basic research, contact various departments to find out if anything like this has been reported. In a democracy, like that of America, every vote counts and so does every voice. I read something from a report on 9/11, which stated that some officials in the defense department had actually raised the doubt about those horrible attacks a couple of months before they happened. But, not enough was done to disprove those claims. Now, see what happened due to that. So, these days it is extremely important for both parties to generate enough evidence to be really certain of a situation. We just can't deny something because we are not willing to disprove it. That's much like medieval autocracy. In the above case, if the person reporting is somewhat reliable but does not have enough proof then the authority hearing the claim of this person should not totally ignore his claim, but should go around trying to gather proof for either viewpoint. If the authority just keeps denying claims with less proof then things could easily go out of hand.

    Well, I don't know anything about how this entire incident happened in that book or how many people actually swore to have seen such a thing happen. Without knowing all this, it is hard to comment on it. Moreover, proving that God exists is not some kind of burden on anyone of us. I don't spend sleepless nights thinking about how to prove it to the world. It's a personal quest. It is about proving it to yourself. And once that is done, you can tell the world about it. And, if they don't want to believe you, it's their problem. Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji never forced anyone to believe in God or His Baani.

    Well, if I've more people backing my argument and you've less number to support your claim then I suppose you will bear the burden about proving His non-existence. That is how society works. The vice versa could also be true. If the entire human race supports your argument then I'll be under a lot of pressure to prove otherwise. But, that won't budge me from my position. I'll continue with my quest and will first prove His existence to myself. Once that is done, I'll share it with the rest of humanity. And, I'll leave it to them to decide whether I'm right or wrong because I would have got what I wanted. That's the reason why Satgurus don't quarrel over the existence of God because they've already united with Him. Now, if I win a lottery worth a million dollars and someone is not ready to believe that I did then that's not my problem. I've the lottery and that is what matters. I can just keep insisting you to at least try to walk the path to God. Then again, it is upto you to actually walk this talk. It reminds me of that dialogue from "The Matrix", when Morpheus tells Neo, "I can only show you the door, you are the one who has to walk through it." This is something that our Satgurus have been telling us for ages and we could never follow them. I was quite surprised to hear the philosophy of the great Saints in a hollywood movie! And, I guess very few of us would have attributed that statement to those great Saints.

    Yes, ordinary humans like us are indeed imperfect. But our Satgurus were not ordinary humans. You might refer to them as the awakened ones. It's true that our Gurus were born as humans. How else could they come and communicate with you? If they came as apparitions to address humankind then half of humanity would get frightened and go into hiding! If they came in animal bodies, they wouldn't be able to communicate with us like normal humans do. See, when you want to talk to a little baby and grab its attention then a good way is to actually talk like the baby does. If you talk like an adult with a little baby then it'll probably not understand what you're saying. Try it some time. I've tried it many times with my nephews! And the communication is much better when I talk to them with their style and their level of understanding. Every Satguru has to be born as a human and then prove to humans that even being a human one can attain the state of eternal bliss. That's the reason why our Satgurus stressed on the fact that there is no need to leave human society to find God. One can partake in society and can also walk the path that leads to God. Now, let's talk about the great Saakhi of our Satguruji that you mentioned. The Sikh that Satguruji addressed was Bhai Kanhaiyaaji who was a great devotee of God and a follower of Satguruji. Satguruji did not meet him in the battlefield while he was giving water to wounded muslims. It was the other Sikhs on the battlefield who went and complained to Satguruji that Bhai Kanhaiyaaji had lost his mind and was feeding wounded muslims with water that was meant for wounded Sikh soldiers. That pleased Satguruji a lot and he summoned Bhai Kanhaiyaaji later on. The other Sikhs were thinking that Satguruji would oppose what Bhai Kanhaiyaaji did, but they were thinking like all of us ordinary humans. Our Satguruji was a superhuman. I call Him that because he was a perfect mind and soul within a human body. He questioned Bhai Kanhaiyaaji NOT because He failed to understand what Bhaiji did. He questioned Bhaiji to confirm that Bhaiji's charitable act did not cause his ego to swell. Bhaiji responded by saying that every human being deserved an equal service from him, be it Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or anyone else. This humble submission of Bhaiji pleased Satguruji and he embraced Bhaiji and blessed him. He also gave Bhaiji a first-aid kit, so that he could serve every wounded soldier by also treating their wounds, apart from feeding them water. Do you now think that this was an idea that Satguruji didn't know of? This is what Satguruji taught all his followers, but only someone as humble as Bhai Kanhaiyaaji could grasp it to the core. Of course, Satguruji might not have told him to go and serve water to wounded muslims, but Satguruji definitely preached His Sikhs to serve all of humanity by setting many examples. The first example was already set by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, when he considered Bhai Mardaana (a Muslim) and Bhai Baala (a Hindu), both to be his brothers and that is how he always addressed them. He didn't even call them His disciples, that is how we refer to them. And the Rabbi Jyot in Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji is same as that of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji! Bhai Kanhaiyaaji had the discerning wisdom to implement Satguruji's teachings. That's the reason Satguruji was very pleased with Bhaiji. I feel proud to proclaim that the foundation of the Red-Cross was laid down by Bhai Kanhaiyaaji under the guidance of Satguru Gobind Singh Ji! This is how history records what happened. The way you've mentioned it might give a totally different meaning to it. According to your description, Bhaiji came up with a new idea, which Satguruji was not aware of. Infact, Bhaiji was a true disciple who could apply Satguruji's wisdom in his day-to-day life. No, we can't go beyond our Satgurus, we can definitely become like our Satgurus because they have already reached that state of perfect bliss. They already know everything that has to be known. It is just that they don't flaunt it like many scientists would because Satgurus don't have an ego. They don't consider themselves to be different from the Creation. They consider themselves part of the whole, which is God. The above Saakhi does not in any way prove that our Satguruji was imperfect as you interpreted it. Veerji, I hope you now understand the above Saakhi in the right context. I feel you need to learn more about Gurbani and Sikh history without the mindset to prove something or someone as imperfect.

    Again you've come up with the same argument in a different way. Firstly, I never said that perfection is consistent in space and time. I actually said that a perfect phenomenon or machine is consistent in space and time, which means that the phenomena that occur in nature based on universal laws are always consistent and that the machines we make are dead things which are subject to the same laws and hence even they function the way they are meant to. And I asked you to compare such perfect phenomena with ourselves. I wanted you to know that we ordinary humans are not perfect because our behavious keep changing in space and time, due to which they are not really predictable. Now, consider this, scientists are able to predict a total solar eclipse many many years before it actually occurs becuase they understand the perfect behaviour of various heavenly bodies, whose positions they are able to extrapolate and determine an exact time when the eclipse will happen. Now, can they predict how you're going to behave tomorrow morning or next month or an year later? In the case of ordinary humans like us, our behaviours are very unpredictable. Our stances keep changing every now and then. That's the reason I called ordinary humans imperfect. If you read everything about the lives of our Satgurus, you will never find even a single instance when their behaviour would have become haywire or out of control. I could confidently say that whatever the case, our Satgurus will never change and will always remain that same fountain of mercy. Indeed, they could surprise us by setting new examples, but their behaviours will always remain consistent, not controlled by the vagaries of the mind. And that defines a perfect human. Hence, I refer to our Satgurus as perfect humans or superhumans. I hope you understand. Now, you say that our Satgurus were born and they died and that they were subject to the perfect laws of nature and science like every other human being. So, how does that prove that they were imperfect? They came to show us that death of the body is not the end. That there is another reality which we are totally unaware of. Okay, tell me, how do you learn to play a musical instrument. Suppose you go to a master who can play the Tabla. Would you be able to play it if he just keeps giving you verbal instructions or writes something down on a book? If he does that then you'll not accept him as your master, isn't it? You'll first want your master to play the Tabla and show you that it is possible even for you to play it if you follow his advice. This will make you confident and you'll think to yourself, "If my master can do it being a human like me, even I can try to achieve the same feat." Similarly, if Satgurus were to just announce in our dreams that we've to do this and this and behave in a certain manner and do certain things that will reveal to us the ultimate reality then we wouldn't be convinced. That's the reason they take birth as humans and are affected by the elements just like we are, and set examples through consistent behaviour throughout their lives. This encourages even ordinary humans to try the same things. And during their lives they tell people that death is not the end and there is a way out. They teach people all the practices that would reveal to them the ultimate reality even while they are in their human form. And, do you know that this awakening of the soul within the human body happens only while we are alive. Once we are in the awakened state then death cannot affect us. We will observe death destroying our body like a third person! But, it is very important to become truly awake to the other reality before we die. Now, death can only take our bodies and not our soul. Other activities apart, all we have to do in life is to realize our soul, that's all. Now, another thing I want to tell you is that there is nothing imperfect about death. It is a perfect phenomenon. It is consistent and happens to every living being some time or the other. Because Satgurus take up a human body they've got to leave it too. I don't see how that makes them imperfect. They were here to convince us that being imperfect humans there is a possibility for us to become perfect. And they proved this by taking up the human form and living and dying just like we do, but being consistent all the time. And, no, proving of God's existence does not rely just on faith. I've explained it many times before to you that there is a path that our Satgurus have laid down for us. If we walk it then we will definitely find all the proofs. Just because some great thinker did not find God in his lifetime, doesn't mean that God does not exist. I have told you before that it is a personal quest. Nobody can write down some proof on a piece of paper that would convince you about the existence of God. That would be foolish. Okay, how does it matter if Darwin didn't find God or Bertrand Russel didn't find God? I ask you a simple question, would you want to know God if He exists? Well, if you do then you must follow your Satgurus. Put all your bias in a locker for some time and try to walk their path. There is nothing to lose in it. You would atleast have lived a good life based on a great set of principles.

    Dear Veerji, again, I do not ask you to believe in God without a proof. I am just asking you to prove it to yourself. Nobody can prove it to you. It is just not possible. Persist on the path of the Satgurus and the divine fruits will be revealed. And I can promise you that if you live your life based on the principles of Satguruji then your entire life will be very fruitful and your mind will not be in turmoil. One way to prove a theory is to assume that it is right first and then find out things to support our assumption. Similarly, for now, just simply assume that God exists, don't believe it, nobody is forcing you to. And then using the means that our Satgurus have provided you, try to prove God's existence to yourself. That's all! Your life will NEVER turn into a mess. There are many people across the world who practice Meditation, Simran and Yoga without first believing in God. That is not an entry criteria into the religious/spiritual fold. If somebody says that to you then (s)he is utterly wrong. Don't believe such people. And don't believe anyone blindly, please don't. It is not required. Just try to understand and follow the instructions of our Satgurus with an unbiased mind, that's all. You will automatically metamorphosize into a better human being and God will just come as a bonus from Satguru (Gur Parsaad). No blind faith will be required!



    Indeed there are more militant skeptics in the world than people who would try to convince you of something without being militant. Whoever said that probably met only those ordinary humans who understood their Satgurus teachings only vaguely and became militant whenever (s)he raised a doubt against those theories. If this person had met Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed or Satguru Nanak Dev Ji things would have been totally different for her/him! Well, I can assure you that I don't toss and turn around all night thinking about proving God's existence to others. I know the path and I'm walking it. Things are being revealed slowly and silently. And, I'm happy to start at an early age, when my body is more supportive of my meditative efforts. Now, even Gautam Buddha had problems meditating at the age of 80 due to severe back pain. But it didn't matter to him because He had already attained Nirvana when he was 28! The body's state didn't matter at all after everything was attained! And, frankly, I don't intend to intensify my quest at that age, I already have back problems and I don't know what will transpire with me if I happen to live to that ripe old age! So, I'm making the most of the present.

    Anyway, I hope I've advanced this conversation in a positive manner.

    Bhul Chuk Dee Khima Mangdey Hoe...

     
  16. etinder

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    wow amazing discussions guys please keep it up

    one thing i have believed myself that sikh scriptures taught us balance in life as we keep on working on gaining the physical material and social knowledge, it becomes equally important to work on what i perceive as SQ (spiritual quotient) and as other quoutients it can be worked upon and we can increase it and take it to the next level and like all other Q's it needs to be worked upon.

    dear snavneet veerji can u pls create a separate threade and enlighten us about how to do simran and meditation or what way u r doing and also if u can share ur experiences too

    regards to both of u
     
  17. S|kH

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    Snavneet,

    The purpose of stating the burden of proof in legal cases was to simply show you how the burden of proof is related to legality and other methods. And how in most of these methods, it is the same.

    As far as societal burden of proof goes, I figure thats incorrect. Let's take the Civil Rights Movement in America as example. If the All White men (which at one point in time, nearly happened) went and told the government that Blacks should not recieve equal rights because their brain is inferior. According to you, the burden of proof would lie upon the Blacks as population-wise they are much lesser in number. But this is incorrect, just as the examples I cited before, the person who makes the positive assertion or theory has to provide the claim. The White people who proposed this idea would need to prove it. The burden of proof would NOT lie upon the individuals in lesser number. And the whites can not say, "You can't disprove it."

    In every case, the one who makes the positive assertion has the burden of proof.

    As far as the rest of your paragraphs go, it is what I was stated before.
    You can not prove God's existence. Nor can I disprove God's existence.
    It is a personal thing, you are simply tellling me how I can achieve such a goal.

    But, please realize that this method is stated in SGGS, something I am reading, and have not finished. Maybe I will change by the end of it, maybe not.

    We're agreeing on the same thing, God can not be proven based off facts. God is proven to ones own self through various ways (which take up religions ).
     
  18. snavneet

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    Sat Sri Akaal to all!

    Pyaare Etinder Veerji, I'll respond to your post soon. Till then here is my latest response to SIkh Veerji.

    Pyaare SIkh Veerji,
    Thanks for your reply. I'm very happy to know that you're learning from our Satguruji in order to find out about God. Now, I'll respond to your previous post.

    I had to separate legal cases from social issues because both are settled in a totally different way. And, hence the burden of proof in both these cases cannot be compared. I also discussed your examples in good detail, telling you how they cannot be related to social issues. I hope you went through all my responses. Now, consider our current argument:

    snavneet says: Burden of proof is different in legal and social issues

    SIkh says: Burden of proof is same in every case (It is on the one who makes the positive statement)

    Now, we both are trying to prove statements that are almost opposite in meaning. And, yet, we both keep coming up with points to support our claims. So, aren't we sharing the burden of proof equally in this case? You were confident in the beginning that this burden is same in every case. I came up with some examples that proved otherwise. So, you again had to go and find more examples (or proofs) to support your claims, like some of the legal examples in your previous post. So, it was a two way process all along, wasn't it? In the above case, how can you decide which statement is positive and which is negative? Assertions cannot be negative statements. Inherently, assertions are positive statements. I can consider my statement to be an assertion and you can consider yours to be an assertion because for both of us our statements are positive. For you, my statement is negative and for me your statement is negative. That is the reason we have debates and arguments. If one side already knew that the other's statement is positive and their own negative then there wouldn't be any debate or argument. Then, there wouldn't be any legal cases or social issues. What I mean to say is that the burden of proof is different in every case. You cannot generalize it by saying that it always lies on the one making a positive statement because for me my statement is positive and for you yours is.

    Now, let's consider the example you gave about the Civil Rights Movement in America. If all white men felt that blacks were inferior then indeed they would've to prove how and why. But, if you sift through the pages of history, you'll find out that they could never prove that blacks were inferior. But, did that make any difference. In any case, the blacks had to suffer for many decades. The blacks surely knew that they were not inferior and they all would've been furious when the whites made those foolish claims. But whom would they go and appeal to? All their appeals would've fallen on deaf white ears of that time! So, in this case we cannot even divide the burden of proof amongst the blacks and whites because the blacks almost had no rights. The arbiter of a case/issue, be it legal or social should be an impartial one. In this case, the arbiters were mostly all whites and that too racially motivated ones, so there wasn't any case at all. And for a very long time, whites kept the blacks enslaved without even proving that they were inferior. If the whites could state even one point that would prove the blacks inferior then even the blacks would have to respond by bringing forth points that would prove otherwise. The whites didn't prove a thing but they ruled over the blacks and nothing could stop them. This is an example of autocratic governance where the blacks had no rights and the burden of proving themselves equal to the whites was always on them. And, then came Abraham Lincoln, who had very liberal and rational views about society and wanted to abolish slavery, but even he was assasinated by a racially motivated white person because Lincoln openly supported the viewpoint of equality among blacks and whites. And most of the white Americans still continued to believe that blacks were inferior up until the middle of the 20th century. I suppose it was Martin Luther King who had to take the ONUS (BURDEN) upon himself to prove that blacks were not inferior, he was the one who PROVED it. He made the whites give equal rights to the blacks. Remember, the whites never proved the blacks inferior, but still treated them as inferior. Inspite of this Mr. Luther had to fight for the rights of blacks and had to prove that they were not inferior. Now, I'll provide a more recent example to you, which concerns our Sikh community and in the end I hope you agree to some extent that the burden of proof is never the same in every case. You must be knowing that recently the French government banned all external religious symbols worn by students to schools. Now, this law also disallowed Sikh students from wearing Pagdee to school. Now tell me, is this right according to you? Did the French prove that wearing a Pagdee would harm their society in anyway? No, they did not. But, the law was made to pass, WITHOUT PROOF. Now, on whom does the burden lie, in this case. The burden lies on us. Sikhs have to somehow prove to the French government that their Pagdee cannot harm french society in any way, isn't it? In this case, we are not slaves of the french government and hence there is a good chance that we might be able to effect a positive decision in our favor through global support. Let me summarize. The french made a claim, an assertion but did not prove it. But they passed a law based on it. And, we could do nothing about it. Why? Because there are barely 7000 Sikhs in France. Now, the BURDEN OF PROOF lies on us and not on the French government! If 51% of french people were Sikhs then such a thing wouldn't have happened. The burden in this case lies on the group with lesser number of supporters. According to you, if the french came up with an assertion(positive according to them) they should prove it first and only then do something based on it. But this did not happen. I feel that the French have ignored the fact that the world has now become a global village and that Sikhs all over the world will fight for their community in France. I hope this simple and relevant example justifies my claim thoroughly.

    The above example about Sikhs in France simply confirms that your claim cannot be justified.

    Dear Veerji, I'm happy to see that you've read and understood most of my points. So, I hope that you now agree to some extent that the existence of God can be proved to oneself by following the path laid down by the Satgurus. It is not about me proving to you or you proving to me. It is all about proving it to oneself, by walking the path. That's all. Actually, we are both under NO BURDEN at all! We are just making it sound like it is a burden.

    It is good to know that you're learning from your Satguru. But, I request you not to read it like a book. Read it without the bias that the world has created in you. Please, it is a humble request from your brother. And, you will definitely change, I can promise you that right now. Just be totally aware of what you're reading and understand everything thoroughly, don't continue reading without understanding. Keep persisting, question the Satsangat. Put up your doubts online, so that we all can help each other to discover the facts. I'm satisfied to know that you've atleast agreed that God's existence can be proven by personally following the path of the Satgurus.

    More later...

    Bhull Chukk Di Khima Mangdey Hoe...

     
  19. humanist

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    Dear Mr. Neutral Singh,

    In Law, the burden of proof lies on the person who want other(s) to accept that what he/she says is right.
    But there are certain facts which need not be proved.

    There is a proverb in Punjabi : "Sau siyane eko mat"-- in those situations there is no need to argue, prove or persuade.

    It is said that it needs two to speak the truth-- one to speak and the other to hear, i.e. there need to be an etymological identity of understanding, too.

    There is a school of thought which says that the yonder tree exists because I can see it. In such situations you can prove the existence of the said tree only to those who, too, can see it.

    Regards,
    Humanist
     
  20. snavneet

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    Sat Sri Akaal Ji.

    Pyaare Etinder Veerji,

    You are very right about the Spiritual Quotient. And, indeed, there are many levels to it! Every level is about higher and purer forms of love. The further you go, the more selfless and intense this love gets! Veerji, I've just started walking the path myself. And, as far as enlightenment is concerned, only Satguruji can confer that upon us. But, I would definitely love to share anything that will help others on the path, so that they too can avoid the obvious pitfalls.

    Firstly, Satguruji tells us that the path to God is sharper than the edge of a sword and thinner than a hairline, by which He implies that we have to be extremely aware and attentive on this path, so that we don't fall and go astray. So, whatever you do, always be aware of what you're doing. Whatever meditative practice you follow, just be present with every passing moment. Initially, your mind will wander like it has been doing for millions of lives. But, don't give up or feel guilty. Many times your mind will wander, but as soon as you remember that you were doing Meditation or Simran, just return to that activity. Your efforts have to be 100%. 99.9999% won't do. You've to be relentless with your efforts. On this path, results won't come immediately. But, there is no need to get frustrated due to this. Your mind could take advantage of your frustration or guilt. Don't give your mind that chance to divert you once again. Just focus on what you were doing. I usually sit in Sukhaasan and focus on my breathing. I don't try to breathe fuller or heavier. I let the breathing go on as usual and just focus on how it is happening. If my mind wanders then I recover and start focusing, once again. After some time, when the mind wanders less frequently, I try to fixate it on another task. This task is Simran. I start by uttering "Waheguru" from my mouth. Slowly, I become silent. The more focussed I'm in observing my breath and doing Simran, the silent everything gets. Time appears to slow down. I become more aware of the present. Basically, my goal is to make my mind do Simran on its own. This activity has to be mastered so well that even when you're working or doing some other activity, the mind should not wander. It should only help you with that activity and continue doing Simran at the back. This is the first goal.

    Please, let me know if you need clarifications about anything. Also, I would like to know if you've been doing this already. I'll let you know about my experiences later. My experiences are not all that important right now. More important is the task at hand. Also, do you listen to Katha or Keertan regularly? or do you study and learn Gurbaani regularly? and are you a Nitnemi? Because to bring spiritual change in one's life, one has to constantly feed the mind with the right kinds of things, otherwise it quickly returns to its conditioned state and continues wandering. It is much like planting a seed in rich soil and then watering it regularly, so that it grows and grows and grows until one day it finally gives you the fruits that you always wanted! If you don't feed the seed correctly and timely then there will be no fruit.

    Awaiting your response.

     
  21. etinder

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    navneet veerji
    i guess i have to say i agree with u in totum, with above..
    we all r on the same path and needs the blessings of the guru to keep us showing the light and the path and also when ever we go astray as we go so often to bring us back on track "gurmat marg".
    i guess veerji, lemme start a new thread abt simran and experiences so that whole forum can benefit from it there are lots of bhatki souls like me all around, and its so important ..and in our dy to day mundane routines simran and naam is not getting the importance and the place as it shud.
    so we all wud be needing ur input there too..

    as far as i m concerned
    yeah i do try to do my nitnem, i really dont know how much i do it right but i do do it, yeah i listen to katha n keertan, try to read SGGS but this moorakh has tiny lil puny mind to understand it..but wont stop and i guess it wud take more time for an imbecile like me to understand and comprehend.and simran no i havent done it as u have described above.

    lots of thanx and regards
    gurufateh
     

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