Paul Power and Allen Esterson are right to point out the inconstency of Yashendra ‘s comments, but I hasten to add that, currently, Indian “science of life” concepts are far, far removed from their original context. That’s simply what happens over time.
Take India’s caste system, for instance. It began as an interpretation of “spiritual” worthiness, but has since descended into the dynastic, ecomomic class model we’re familiar with in the west.
Bhuddism is also a classic case. The Bhudda himself wrote that it would be pointless for his followers to revere him or try to emulate him in manner. Instead, he simply said “seek what I sought”.
Despite that, what do we see all the way across asia? Bhudda-worship. Prayers to the buddha, sacrifices to the buddha, “pleases, buddha, give me a pay rise and SUV this year”. Rubbish.
Fundamentalism is the same in every case, whether it’s Christianity, Islam, buddhism, communism, the free market, ayurveda, or Last Thursday-ism.
Ayurveda is not a neat box which enshrines one set of concepts and excludes others. Ayurveda should – if understood – encapsulate and contextualise the discoveries of other sciences.
Ergo, quantum mechanics are not a denial of ayurveda, but an interpretation and revelation of concepts which ayurveda attempts to translate intuitively without the benefit of electron microscopy and methodological research.
Yashendra’s comments provide that warm fuzziness of certainty which humans crave, but I, as a believer and practitioner of ayurveda, do not consider the achievements of modern science to be a threat to the integrity of the Indian “science of life”.
Re Cornehl’s article:
This was a very interesting piece. Adam’s invisible hand does ‘trickle-down’ benefits. But in the medium to long-term, his ‘other’ hand claws back far more than was ever ‘given’ in the first place. Hence the ballooning discrepancy between the incomes of the already advantaged and those at the other end of the socio-economic sprectrum.
If this ‘process’ has ever been computer-simulated, perhaps it could be reported by B&W?
In his article in Guardian Unlimited James Randerson argues that science has ‘kicked’ the notion that religion makes us better people.
However, Randerson’s argument is logically flawed, to a degree which belies his scientific vocation.
After first conceding as ‘Fair enough’ the notion that one should face an opponents strongest arguments he proceeded to do precisely the opposite by looking at the apparent failings of those who profess a belief in God.
Randerson has brought forward no argument in support of his proposition that high North American homicide rates have ‘kicked the idea that faith makes for a better and more moral society firmly into touch’This conclusion cannot correctly be drawn from the data advanced by Randerson. It is a non sequitur. It is as Julian Baggini might say, a bad argumentative move.
No reasonable argument would deny that many who profess adherence to one faith or another have committed acts of unspeakable evil. These evidence human failure not that of the underlying belief system.
Great religions bring great benefits. The existence of aberrant human behaviour does not remove the need for religion in our lives, it reinforces it.
In reference to Jim Cornehls article, calling for meaningful change requiring public education, etc., It seems that change can only happen when a corpor- ation’s bottom line is showing that something must change.
Someday, the price of any product or service must have accountability for the equitable welfare of ALL the individuals who contributed to that prduction effort. This will require massive cultural change in both society in general and the business practices of corporations specifically.
If we are to seek that change, other countries might view us as greedy and hypocritical- “They got thiers, and now they want our country to slow down? We cry foul!”
With China having caught the full bug of rampant consumerism, I am concerned for our survival, given the inevitable energy crisis and the probablity of global environmental change.
The article about Freud was thoroughly commented in “Le anti-livre Noir de la Psychanalyse”. I only want to add that in Silvester Stallone’s “Demolition Man” (1993) you can grasp what could be a society with “real science” at the top: you receive an instant police rapport when you dont speak appropiately. The “Big Brother” is really “the not-decompleted- Other”, the Other-that-would-be- without – Kurt Godel, the “scientific” Other that seems to be the dream of Mr Frank Cioffi. Thanks to Freud and now to Lacan, we prefer Freud to the authoritarian science of cognitivism & Co.
Though Freud `s some theories may out of date, I personally most benifited from his teaching. He show me how to psycho-analysis your self. No doubt he is first psychlogist who had given scientfic base to this subject. Iam tremendously greatful to him with his help I sloved some creatical problems of my life
Marco Mauas writes in relation to Frank Cioffi’s article on Butterflies and Wheels:
>The article about Freud was thoroughly commented in “Le anti-livre Noir de la Psychanalyse”.<
This is not the case. *Le anti-livre noir de la psychanalyse* is not a response to *Le livre noir de la psychoanalyse* (in which Cioffi’s full article appeared). The editors of “Livre noir” report that of the 295 reference notes in *Le anti-livre noir*, the *Livre noir* is cited only 4 times, i.e., around 1.3% of the references.
“L’Anti-livre noir de la psychanalyse : tromperie sur la merchandise”
Oops! Copying Marco’s version of the title of the book had me writing *Le anti-livre noir* instead of *L’Anti-livre noir*!
I too am fed up with political correctness in hiring practices. In the U.S., companies are actually paid to hire people listed as minorities, criminals, mental cases or other usually “discriminated against” groups. I certainly don’t mind equal opportunity for everyone and I don’t support being rude as a practice to anyone. With that said, though, I am finished with being polite while jobs go to underqualified or inappropriate persons simply because they are not white and healthy. Why should I pay to try to conduct business with someone too undertrained, undereducated, unhealthy, or bad mannered for the job, while I watch perfectly appropriate persons passed over because they are white. If a business hires this way, taking money to do so from the government, at my expense as a customer, I am no longer doing business there if I can avoid it: make it more expensive to hire them because of lost revenue and clientele. And I, too, am thinking of moving OUT of the U.S. How is the arctic these days?
The French Amazon site has a lovely review of the “L’Anti-Livre..” which I would like to share. It is to be found at http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/202085774X/171-5199615-5417054 and is written by “une lectrice en province” (a provincial reader (female)).
Here is my poor translation. Note: the book concerns itself only with a particular type of therapy which it calls TCC, for “thérapies
cognitivo-comporte mentales”, which I cannot translate and so have rendered as “TCC”. I think it means cognito-behavioural therapy.
Also, the punctuation in the following follows the spirit of the original
‘I do not understand how this book can claim to be a response to “Le Livre Noir..”, which one can critique but only after reading it …
The authors of this anti-book are speaking only about a report by the INSERM institute; about people who do not figure in “Le Livre Noir..” ; about TCC.
Not a sinlge word about the history of psychoanalysis, Freud’s false cures, the theoretical fiddling. Not a line on the ignoble analytical theories about women and their so-called “penis envy”, about the imbecilic ideas on education, about the backward ideas on homosexuality.
This is anything but a response. Moreover, it is written in “Lacanian” for Lacanians. What interest does it hold for patients?’
Scientfic idiosyncrasy is hallmark of western thinking process. When quantum theory did not response rightly. Einstein angrily roared God did not play dice.Western idiosyncrasy alway want scientfic proof of every thing. All Freud theories are speculations. How can you expect scintfic proof in that theories.He never claim that all his theories are scientfically correct.Writing this kind of nonsense you could not block the importance of his theories
Joseph R Hoffmann’s article on violence in Islam echoes something I have long believed, that religion becomes most dangerous when faith in the devil becomes far stronger than faith in God. If there can be no compromise with evil, and evil is winning, then extreme measures are called for and justified. This is why dictators invoke the enemy to support their attrocities. Truly evil men disguise their own evil, even from themselves, by claiming to oppose an even greater evil.
While I agree that the mythos of Christ’s victory over sin should be the heart of Christianity, this grasp of the ethical core of Christianity is fading fast, under the assault of fundamentalists, particularly dispensationalists. In their mythos, as in that of political Islam, the Devil is rising into ascendance, and the Great War is yet to come. The Devil is far too useful to ambitious sociopaths to be cast and locked into hell just yet. What frightens me most about this mythology is that, determined to find the beast, believers may well create one themselves.
I made an error when I wrote in “A Seductive Story” on B&W that Eric Kandel trained as a psychoanalyst. He planned to be a psychoanalyst when he went to medical school and during his psychiatric training, but his interest in the biology of the brain led to his also studying neuroscience. His career plan then took another direction when he chose research in neuroscience in preference to entering a psychoanalytic institute. I have made the appropriate amendment to the article.
Ophelia: re your news item “Anyone who sees this will be offended”:
I got to end of it and still couldn’t decide whether it was a spoof or for real. How can one distinguish one from the other in such cases?
More on the great Burger King outrage from Eastern Eye: 16 September 2005
Burger King is to withdraw thousands of ice-cream cones because the design on the packaging (pictured) resembles the Arab word for Allah.
[Check the amazing resemblance at: http://www.mediawatchwatch.org.uk/?p=233
Who can doubt that this is a deliberate provocation on the part of Burger King? -:)
Little wonder that the Muslim Council of Britain – no doubt on behalf of the Muslim "community" – commend BK for their prompt action "to prevent any hurt [sic] being done” to people’s religious sensibilities.]
More from the Eastern Eye article:
The company has acted after the coincidence was spotted by a Muslim customer, Rashad Akhtar, at its Park Royal outlet last week (6), who later telephoned its head office to say that the packaging was sacrilegious.
The Muslim Council of Britain has backed the change.
A statement by Burger King (BK) to Eastern Eye said: “The design on the lids of our cones represents a spinning ice-cream cone. However, as a result of the feedback we have received, our supplier is amending the lid design.”
The US fast-food giant said it would withdraw the packaging in ‘the near future’ once an alternative has been designed.
But the action has failed to satisfy Akhtar, who wants the designer sacked and is calling on Muslims to boycott the fast-food company.
Akhtar, 27, of High Wycombe, who is married and a business development manager, said: “Them [BK] recalling this product is not sufficient. It should be taken away from the stores now.
“I have had no correspondence from Burger King. These people who have designed this think they can get away with this again and again. This is my jihad.
“How can you say it is a spinning swirl? If you spin it one way – to the right, you are offending Muslims” [...]
MCB spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said: “It is true that seen from a certain angle, the design on the BK ice cream lid could be read as closely resembling the word Allah in Arabic.
“We commend the sensitive and prompt action BK have taken to prevent any hurt being caused to the religious sensibilities of others by this.”
Thanks for expansion, Allen. I was sure I had posted some News links on this story when it first appeared, but I don’t find anything within a couple of weeks of September 16. Anyway, I recognized the story, so I knew that Harper’s item was real as real.
A comment on “Today ‘interviews’ Flemming Rose [audio]” from BBC Radio 4 on B&W Latest News:
No, Ophelia, it didn’t raise my blood pressure (well, only slightly towards the end). I was delighted by the way Flemming Rose [the Danish editor who published the cartoons] stood up to Sarah Montague and refused to let her set the agenda. Especially towards the end, when he would not let her distorted interpretation of what he had just said form the basis for a “yes or no?” answer.
I’d say the result was:
Montague 0, Rose 2.
Fair enough, Allen. But the tone of her voice got my bp elevated right from the beginning. That stern, self-righteous, firmly indignant, how dare you edge to her voice was…annoying.
Ophelia, I take your point about Sarah Montague’s tone of voice in the “Today” programme interview (self-righteous, etc). I suppose I’m so use to it that I now take it for granted.
Sarah Montague’s first question was to ask Flemming Rose whether he ‘feels in any way responsible for the protests and for people who died in the protests’. Her tone of voice made quite clear that she wasn’t just asking questions to get an answer, but rather thinks Flemming Rose should be blamed. However, set that aside for a moment and consider the following. Germaine Greer and other female chauvinist pigs frequently say deeply offensive things about men. Suppose some men, in protest at that offense, staged violent riots in which people got killed. Would Sarah Montague interview Germaine Greer and ask her ‘do you feel in anyway responsible for the protests and for the people who died in the protests’? IF not, why not? IF Flemming Rose is to blame for the reaction of muslim bigots, why isn’t Germaine Greer to blame; why isn’t the women who says something provocative to her abusive husband, or the husband who says something provocative to his abusive wife,** to blame for the beating she or he subsequently receives. No, Sarah Montague reveals herself to be one of two things: yet another lefty moron who doesn’t understand free speech, or yet another lefty fascist, who doesn’t believe in free speech critical of her approved victim groups.
**4.2% of women and 4.1% of men victims of DV according to home office figures, but of course the male victims are ignored by people like Sarah Montague and the BBC.