A Case for Eastern religions!

23 posts / 0 new
Last post
KaustubhKasture's picture
A Case for Eastern religions!

I have noticed that there are a lot of atheists who are surrounded by a lot of axioms(my opinion).
One of them is ALL religions are harmful or useless(especially by anti-theist).I totally disagree with this.
Another one is that after they think they have disproven Abrahamic religions it is the end of religion in whole.Whereas that is not the case.They still have to face Dharmic religions.I subscribe to Jainism but have a deep respect for Hinduism and Buddhism.People assume that as they do not have many followers,they should ignore them(still Hinduism has more than approximately 900+ million followers).
People who think that they know ENTIRE Hinduism are as ignorant as Christians who are widely blamed by atheist of ignorance towards Science.
The mere fact they bring CASTE SYSTEM in argument against Hinduism is evident of it.

SAM HARRIS's podcast about "Is Buddhism True?" is a demonstration that how much atheist don't know of Eastern cultures.
I do agree that due to regional circumstances westerners are not educated on Eastern religions but, an atheist MUST educate him with some Eastern Religious philosophy.What is amazing about Eastern Religions is that THEY DO ACCEPT ATHEISM IS THERE SUBSET which a lot of atheists don't know about.
I do hope that if someone sees this Forum he/she/ze/zer/it will have a rational stand against Eastern Religions.

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I have to say that I'm very

I have to say that I'm very skeptical of many of the claims of Eastern religions.

For example: I searched Jainism just now and learned a little about Rishabhanatha. It is difficult for me to take claims like that seriously.

KaustubhKasture's picture
The whole point of Jainism is

The whole point of Jainism is to accept it's teachings. Rishabhanatha according to Jainism is the founder of Jainism but when you actually study Eastern religion you know he is a myth for sure.You can disbelief in all the 24tirthankars but still subscribe to Jainism.
I am actually starting to think that i am a agnostic atheist but cannot find my opposition to jainism.
I guess the fact that there is no compulsion in belief in Eastern cultures is why they have won the test of time.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Kaustubh Kasture - I am

Kaustubh Kasture - I am actually starting to think that i am a agnostic atheist but cannot find my opposition to jainism.

Well you might not be the stereotypical atheist many people in the west think of; if you don't think god is real, your in! Welcome!

The_Quieter's picture
"The mere fact they bring

"The mere fact they bring CASTE SYSTEM in argument against Hinduism is evident of it."

And here was your most glaring mistake. You are doing what we typically fault in with the other religions you mention. You expect us to ignore reality as it exists right now and history as it has been for many centuries with a mere wave of your hand.

For Muslims it's the "Religion of Peace" line that flies in the face of reality as it exists now and history as it has been for centuries.
For Christians it's the "Not Real Christians" line that flies in the face of reality as it exists now and history as it has been for centuries.

And now you're trying your version of "If We Just Ignore..." line.

Not all religions are harmful may be true but once again if we look at reality as it exists right now and history as it has been for centuries then Hinduism is absolutely not and never will be a religion that can claim it is not harmful.

KaustubhKasture's picture
blinknight can you bring me

blinknight can you bring me one claim that Hinduism has made which is not peaceful.

The_Quieter's picture
See what you did there? That

See what you did there? That's called a dodge. You're attempting to ignore what I said in favor of changing the subject.

Well you'll find that doesn't work very well.

You can carefully word a question all you want to in order to steer the subject in a direction you think is favorable but considering carefully why you feel the need to do that. If what I said was outright wrong or completely ridiculous you'd point out how and why.

You would not instead try to do a switch with a carefully worded question. The fact that you were incredulous about somebody bringing up the caste system would be because you know it's a huge anchor around your neck. This is what Muslims do when you point out that in some Muslim countries women are treated like crap. This is what Christians do when you point out their history of treating women and homosexuals like crap.

They can't really deny it just as you can't really deny the caste system so they wave their hands frantically and try to make it about something else.

My exact words were that given current reality and ample history you absolutely cannot claim that Hinduism is 'not harmful' and be honest. In order to do that you must excuse, obfuscate, and do whatever you can to distract away from facts that are not in dispute.

And the fact is that like many other religions Hinduism has harmed a great many people in ways large and small. You don't have to be specifically violent in order to do real harm to people. The Christians who inundate gay people with 'sinful' 'abomination' 'going to hell' ect are not being violent either but they are doing lifelong harm to people and this is without even getting into their history of brutally oppressing women, minorities, and homosexuals.

KaustubhKasture's picture
Well that is the reason i say

Well that is the reason i say you need to be educated about caste system to claim that it is discriminatory.
So let me explain how caste system arised and how it was interpreted differently to make it a point against Hinduism.

The caste system arised from Rigveda which is considered to beone of the most Authentic and trusted source in entire of Hinduism

The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rajanya made. His thighs became the Vaisya, from his feet the Sudras was produced.
Rig Veda 10.90.12 translated by R. Griffiths

This is the verse which explains it JUST CASTE.(not caste system)

The whole pointof caste was to understand nature of people.But if you say that "Can you prove to me that this is true that people arose from Someone's head or feet?",then i cannot do it.

More likely The Rigveda questions about GOD himself.
को अद्धा वेद क इह प्र वोचत्कुत आजाता कुत इयं विसृष्टिः ।
अर्वाग्देवा अस्य विसर्जनेनाथा को वेद यत आबभूव ॥६॥

But, after all, who knows, and who can say
Whence it all came, and how creation happened?
the gods themselves are later than creation,
so who knows truly whence it has arisen?

इयं विसृष्टिर्यत आबभूव यदि वा दधे यदि वा न ।
यो अस्याध्यक्षः परमे व्योमन्त्सो अङ्ग वेद यदि वा न वेद ॥७॥

Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows - or maybe even he does not know.
-Rig Veda,10.129
This part is also in the series of COSMOS by CARL SAGAN.You can check it on youtube, just enter "carl sagan hinduism".

The point i am making is the book from which Caste arised(WHICH WAS NEITHER DISCRIMINATORY NOR OPPRESSIVE TO ANY OTHER CASTES),questions God himself.
The VEDAS are considered to be writen by Humans with NO INTERACTION WITH ANY DIVINE.

Here is one more evidence,

If then with all the documents before us, we ask the question, does caste as we find it in Manu and at the present day, form part of the most ancient religious teaching of the Vedas? We can answer with a decided No.
Max Mueller in Chips from a German Work-shop

(I have nothing against today's Brits.)

If this doesn't convine you then the one who compiled all the VEDA's-'VED VYASA' was of LOW caste.(LOW as considered in today's period but not in his period.)

Nyarlathotep's picture
Kaustubh Kasture - ...can you

Kaustubh Kasture - ...can you bring me one claim that Hinduism has made which is not peaceful.

I don't know much about Hinduism, but I have read the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna encourages Arjuna to kill his friends and relatives (in a battle). Not very peaceful.

KaustubhKasture's picture
Well by that statement i

Well by that statement i doubt you have read Bhagavad Gita. You surely have cherry picked but it is an example of bad cherry picking.
But i guess the answer would be 400+pages.Honestly i cannot give you a brief answer to that.
The only thing i can tell you is to read Mahabharat.
I know this argument is ridiculous but you must know Mahabharat to understand it.
I can give you an analogy if you want me to convince you that why you should read it.
here it goes
If somebody asks you who is jesus and what did he do?And why did he do?
in order to explain him completely he must know the old testament.
Similarly in order to understand your question you must read mahabharat.
But in general it is a great story and then you can have a insight in hinduism.

But coming to major point Hindu's top authority book is not Bhagvad Gita.(It is a guide for Kshtriya-a warrior,Arjuna was a warrior,yoou can google it if you want to)
The top authority books of Hinduism are the 4 Vedas.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Kaustubh Kasture - Well by

Kaustubh Kasture - Well by that statement i doubt you have read Bhagavad Gita.

Isn't it interesting how civil our conversation was until I started criticizing the Bhagavad Gita; then you accuse me of dishonesty? Why do you think that is?

Anyway I was required to read it in college. Here is a post where I mentioned reading it in college more than 2 years ago. Here is another post where I mentioned reading it about a year ago.

Kaustubh Kasture - But coming to major point Hindu's top authority book is not Bhagvad Gita.

This is known as moving the goalpost. You issued a challenge for "one claim that Hinduism has made which is not peaceful"; you didn't say it had to come from a "top authority book" of Hinduism.

The Bhagvad Gita is a religious (Hinduism) manuscript that advocates for violence (even if it is just fictional violence): as you already put it, Arjuna was a warrior and Krishna spurred him into battle (and even drove his chariot in the battle).
I'm always shocked at how quickly the purveyors of absolute morality turn to slimy tactics the instant their religion faces criticism. I hope you will take some time and reflect on how this happened.

zuzu67's picture
hindus believe in shiva and

hindus believe in shiva and ramah. Those names in the bible are sons of cush. An im not surprised, cuz the tamil and the dravidians of India have a Cushitic history.

KaustubhKasture's picture
Well maybe you do not know

Well maybe you do not know Christianity or do not know Hinduism or history in general.That is the reason why you said that ramah/shiva is from Bible.
Let me explain it in deep.
Not all Hindus believe in Shiva and Ram.
Actually Hinduism is monotheistic religion.(Some people are surprised by this)

The sons of Cush according to bible are-Nimrod,Seba,Havilah,Sabtah,Raamah,Sabtecah.
I couldn't find anything about Shiva but as you see Raamah is Cush's son,so lets talk about him.
Raamah in bible in hebrew is used as thunder or in some cases representation of some sort of evil(i guess that is the reason why raamah is not a common jew name).He had three children-Cushite,Sheba and Dedan.His tribe was known as traders afterwards.He established his tribe in persian peninsula and is still considered to be ongoing in Sudan.

If you look to Hindu Ram his actual name in 'Ramachandra'. Ram is kind of his nickname.Ram never had any of his relatives in middle-east but rather he was born in Ayodhya(place in India).He had only 2 sons named Luv and Kush. Ram was not a trader and neither his later generations became traders.He was a kshtriya(warrior).You can see his photo on goolge were he is holding a Bow.

He was introduced in Hinduism through Ramayana-the epic.It is quite ironic as Ramayana is actually written in 500B.C and Bible's Old Testament in 6th century A.D.He also is considered as Sidh Purush(Perfect Man).As far i can tell he is the most feminist mythological character in Hinduism. He also challenged the Poojas(prayers) of the Brahmins(priests) and said that it was not compulsury to pray be a believer.

I guess they had nothing in common.

Cognostic's picture
That's a shit job of

That's a shit job of explaining anything. Contrary to popular understanding, Hindus recognise one God, Brahman, the eternal origin who is the cause and foundation of all existence.
The gods of the Hindu faith represent different expressions of Brahman. It's just that simple. All Gods, even the Christian and Muslim Gods are expressions of Brahman.

David Killens's picture
I was raised a Christian, but

I was raised a Christian, but over the years I learned more and more that for the religion that was taught to me, that there was zero evidence supporting it. Eventually I came to the conclusion I was an atheist because I did not believe in the existence of any god. I still use the process when it comes to other belief systems around the world.

Kaustubh Kasture can you provide any proof that supports your belief system? And if you are promising peace of mind and a better outlook on life because of a few words, then your belief system is the same as the rest.

Religious organization can be beneficial, but they offer what any decent community can offer. Personally I believe that almost all religions carry harm. I know a man who is a very good person, there is little he will not do to help anyone. But he is a devout christian, and only because it says in the bible, he is anti-gay. I also know of a gay couple who waited many years before they could be legally married. My sincere christian was responsible for the emotional distress inflicted on two people who just loved each other.

arakish's picture
Well you did miss one other

Well you did miss one other type of atheism. Me. Yes, I am an atheist. Yes, I am an anti-theist. However, ultimately I am an anti-religionist.

Here is a blurb I have used in a recent debate at UNM and have used it here on the forums:

I have never truly believed in ANY religion, especially the Absolutist religions. There is no philosophical ideology more divisive than religion. And, the worst part of ANY religion is that it is an ideology that is implicitly and explicitly protected from any and all criticism from both within and without. Why should any ideology, especially religion, be so privileged? Can you not see how disastrous this way of thinking can be, and is? I firmly believe, and shall take this belief to my grave, that the human species would have been much better off had there NEVER been ANY form of religion. It is due to religions, and their way of thinking, and their theological disagreements, that has created the greatest destruction, injury, death, harm, immorality, wickedness, and abuse to the human species than any other cause. The main problem is not religious fundamentalism, but the fundamentals of religion. Ultimately, it is Religion that is Humankind’s worst enemy.

Although I do specifically point out the Abrahamic religions, which have been the far worst of all ideologies when it comes to harm to the human species, I am definitely against any AND all religions. Why? Because ALL religions are based on the belief in faerie tales and imaginative figments. Very rarely is one able to find any truth in any religion.

Excepting the more philosophically based beliefs. Such as Confucionism. However, still as a whole, I have yet to see any religion be truly real and factual in any evidence it provides.

Foremost, I have been a skeptic my whole life. For about the last 30+ years, I have been a scientist. As a scientist, I want hard empirical evidence. As an atheist, I want hard empirical evidence. And as a human person, I want hard empirical evidence.

And remember, if it cannot be verified or falsified, then it is not evidence.


Cognostic's picture
One of them is ALL religions

One of them is ALL religions are harmful or useless(especially by anti-theist).I totally disagree with this.
I give you the Jain View of Karma. One of the most bullshit beliefs on the planet. "Human moral actions form the basis of the transmigration of the soul (jīva). The soul is constrained to a cycle of rebirth, trapped within the temporal world (saṃsāra), until it finally achieves liberation (mokṣa). Liberation is achieved by following a path of purification."

This piece of shit view is responsible for the enslavement of people all over the world. It is responsible for cast systems. You are born into your fate because you deserve it from a past life. If you have a child that is deformed or retarded it is because of your past Karma/ This is directly responsible for people throughout Asia hiding deformed children and shipping them off to islands where they are trained to pick fruit and nothing more. Where these children are sold into a lifetime of slavery. Karma is a shit belief system and directly responsible for incredible horrors throughout the world. Your Karma is your Karma and perhaps your next life will be better. The Jain karmic theory attaches great responsibility to individual actions, and eliminates any reliance on some supposed existence of divine grace or retribution. The Jain doctrine also holds that it is possible for us to both modify our karma, and to obtain release from it, through the austerities and purity of conduct. This is one of the most horrific beliefs on the planet today. It directly causes pain and suffering among its 5 million believers as well as Hindus and Buddhists who share similar beliefs.

arakish's picture
Kaustubh Kasture: Well that

Kaustubh Kasture: Well that is the reason i say you need to be educated about caste system to claim that it is discriminatory.

And no matter how well you explain its intricacies and candy-coat it, the caste system is still ultimately discriminatory.


Cognostic's picture
No Kaustubh - YOU NEED TO BE


Sapporo's picture
Religion is harmful because

Religion is harmful because it is superstition, which is not founded in truth.

MrHolbyta's picture
@Kaustubh Kasture

@Kaustubh Kasture

"One of them is ALL religions are harmful or useless(especially by anti-theist).I totally disagree with this."

Is it not harmful to convince people of objectively false things? All religions make truth claims which can be demonstrated to be problematic, if not outright falsehoods.

arakish's picture
Hey Mark.

Hey Mark.

Welcome back! Missed ya...

Oh, good response.


MrHolbyta's picture
Thanks, arakish. It's been a

Thanks, arakish. It's been a busy week.

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.