Debate with a philosopher – and III


BY. I think you are making the same mistake over again in the way you are answering the question “How do I know it is true?” since you are just asserting even more things that you have not demonstrated to be true either as your “proof”. Does all doctrine belong to “lower knowledge”? Is there such a thing as “lower knowledge”? How do you know that? Do you think that something being mentioned in the Upanishads is proof of anything? I don’t. Is “intellectual understanding difficult to grasp”? How do you know that? How do you define it in the first place? As opposed to what? and on and on and on. You are just reciting things that you have been taught, not thinking or proving anything at all.

As for Kant being consistent with Vedanta, since Kant only lived little more than 200 years ago there’s no chance that Cedanta agrees with him, perhaps he agreed with Vedanta. 😉 Of course there could be parallels, but his philosophy was so tied up with his special technical terminology and rules while I don’t doubt a certain similarity with some ancient ideas (like Platonism for example) it’s very different in detail.

Anyway, getting back to the religious side of Kant, you seem to take it for granted that this is a good thing. I certainly don’t. Why should I think of it otherwise?

AM. The highest metaphysics is embedded in every religion (in its esoteric dimension), and religion is embedded in every civilization; why denigrate religion/s? In so doing you are crossing out all its/their outstanding artistic productions, including glorious poetry, music, and architecture – St. John of the Cross, Rumi, J.S. Bach, Leonardo da Vinci, and a long etcetera.

There is not only logic, rationality, and proof in life. There is also feeling and emotion, with many of their reverberations echoing in many domains. Deep feeling – the one which accompanies esthetic appreciation of art forms, e.g., music – may be more basic and life giving (forgive the poetic license) than thought, for man is not only a thinking being. Well-being (eudaimonia), equanimity, and an experience of happiness and fulfillment are more satisfying than understanding a scientific discovery or a philosophical conundrum. In the end, all of philosophy is a conundrum, or a series of ‘conundra’, living-room entertainment for the most part.

All except advaita Vedanta, Dzogen, zen Buddhism, and other non-dualist living doctrines. Don’t ask me for logical or philosophical proofs. Having understood the main ideas, controversies, and debates in Western philosophy, in which sense are we the better off for it? Yes, it may be fun…

To your question ‘How do I know that x, y, and z are true’, my answer is: ‘The proof is in the pudding’. And that also is philosophy.

(Today in FB) To the question, ‘How far is the Absolute apart from the relative mind?’, someone answered: ‘The question is from the relative mind. IOW, it’s thought trying to figure things out. It is the basic dualistic mechanism: through thinking and questioning the thinker and questioner are perpetuated as-if some really existing separate “things”. When such mechanism is seen through the relative is the absolute – they are the same timeless presence.’

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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