The most sophisticated system of spiritual-religious thought in India is Advaita... and it is also an expression of the most extreme other-worldliness of the kind which has plagued India since the Ayrans came there. Though sophisticated, it is also metaphysical and most of its variants (and proponents) are distant from all social human concerns. It is all about the desire for liberation (cessation of existence in the world). It ought to be taken apart systematically on all fronts so that gurus and other people living in the past and its superstitions etc. get the rations ground cut away beneath their feet... for this is their main appeal in the West, the involved ideology and labyrinthine meanderings of speculation so as to explain all and everything without any science or empiricism.
I have posted a number of articles criticising Advaita, such as the following:-
Some reflections on Advaita Vedanta
The so-called 'spiritual search' - subjectivist 'teaching' about th...
Mental double-accounting: 'spiritual doublethink' in indoctrination

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be it class,caste or race ..all these categorizations are based on one superstition or another..and thus harm the ones on the lower strata of such classification.

primates will find one way or another to create such categorizations...and there always will be a group that will remain oppressed. hard fact but that's the way it is.

we can only check this evil but can never eliminate it.

and it's evident from the world economic forum statistics that the poor are getting poorer and the middle class has become stagnant in most countries.

This new caste system is getting established and solidified as we speak :-(
primates will find one way or another to create such categorizations.


be it class,caste or race ..all these categorizations are based on one superstition or another

Disagree. You continue to conflate class which is based on economics with caste which is based on superstition.

As I stated before, Class categorizations offer the individual many ways out of their circumstances.

Caste categorizations do not. One is born into their caste and condemned to remain there or privileged to remain there based on nothing but birth and superstitious beliefs.

The differentiation here is huge and cannot, in my opinion, be ignored.

Caste classifications are a form of discrimination and no different than racism in the West.

They have been used to marginalize entire sections of the population.

In Class societies, the opportunities exist based on ability, motivation, and other factors for people to move out of poverty into higher classes and improve their lives and well-being.

This is evidenced by the fact that many have done exactly that in the West where caste is not a consideration.
In Class societies, the opportunities exist based on ability, motivation, and other factors for people to move out of poverty into higher classes and improve their lives and well-being.

The argument from a liberal naturalist would be: those are all attributes that are either genetic or environmental, or a combination of both. No person deserves those traits more than any other person, and so, the idea that one deserves to be in a higher economic class because one possesses those characteristics is baseless. This is actually an argument that highlights how much of our moral rationalization for our self-centered actions is based on a tacit acceptance of the idea of supernatural (uncaused/caused from some unidentifiable place within us) free-will.
I think you misunderstood my statement Ajita.

I am saying that a Class society has opportunities exist which the individual can make the most of (or not) given various factors.

I am making no statement regarding whether they deserve that or not.

In fact, IMO, whether I or you or anyone else including them believes that they deserve that is irrelevant.

If they want that, if the opportunities exist, and if they act on them they can and will improve their life style.
I think I understand, but stand corrected if I didn't.
I was thinking about the previous point about the nature of the caste system, and took your comment as a refutal. If you were not making an ethical comparison, I apologize for assuming that you were.

On a personal level, I think the moral question of whether one deserves suffering or not is supremely important. The sentiment behind your statement the opportunities exist, and if they act on them they can and will improve their lives is exactly what I am talking about in my previous comment. This rationalization requires belief in contra-causal free-will. Science tells us that a person has just as little control over the qualities that make them what they are as they do over which 'high'/'low' caste they are born into. In these modern times we find a system of meritocratic injustice more 'fair' than injustice based on the seemingly more arbitrary notion of birth-right, although in truth both are equally arbitrary. The advantage of a meritocratic injustice is purely utilitarian, which explains its popularity in the post-industrial age. But on any logical level, neither can claim moral superiority. Culture and our individual preferences decide that one is superior to the other. My moral preference is also in favor of meritocratic discrimination over birth-right discrimination, simply because it 'feels' right.

Sorry to go off on this tangent, but it's a favorite topic of mine. In fact, I am also the admin of the naturalism group here on A/N, where we have similar discussions.
You are reactionary to the core. What superstitious metaphysical drivel!
Excuse me?
I was under the impression that logical discourse is the very opposite of reactionism, and baseless accusations are its essence....
I think you intended to respond to Kalki Lol. Ajita agrees with you.
Apology accepted :-).

This rationalization requires belief in contra-causal free-will.

It's sometimes hard in an environment like this to get ideas across clearly. And not being a philosopher I'm not always familiar with the terminology or the consequences of presenting a partial concept.

I did a quick review on what "contra-causal" free will is and I believe I do give the impression that I'm advocating that.

I am interested in pursuing this discussion with you further but we probably shouldn't derail this thread with our discussion.

Would you like to start a thread on your other group based on this, which I'd be interested in joining anyway, and perhaps we could pursue this there?

What is the name of the group?

I'm not exceptionally knowledgeable about these topics but am very interested in learning from those who are because these are topics that interest me too.
I noticed that you've joined the naturalism group here. Unfortunately, this group is not as active as other forums for discussing naturalism online. Please check out the naturalism communities on yahoo. Specifically, the applied naturalism group and the naturalism philosophy group may be to your liking.

You may also be interested in the checking out, a site maintained by philosopher Tom Clark whom I consider one of the most insightful people alive. Tom has written about the true implications of the philosophy of naturalism, some of which even most atheists are yet to confront. The nature of the illusion of contra-causal free-will is one of these. Tom Clark demonstrates how the fact-based erosion of this belief in culture can lead to a more humane and moral human society.
Thanks for the group suggestions Ajita. I will consider that but I have no particular expertise in Philosophy so I'm not sure if I'll fit in as a layperson. However, I'll check them out.
"Advaita does not deny the existence of the experienced world only highlights the need to understand the substantive behind the inert world that the Body-Mind-Intellect complex experiences or interacts with."

Essentially, embracing the unfalsifiable as integral to the question of its relevance. This is what is classically known as bullshit.

I'm not sure what your actual ethical stand is on the caste system as institutionalized by Indian culture, but your comment belies a fatalist approach to discussion of the issue. There are varying degrees of moral ambiguity. Each stage of the evolution of our moral understanding reflects our increasing knowledge of natural facts combined with the prevailing cultural moods of the time. So, yes, the basal nature of animal behavior dictates that there will always be injustice, but to deny the vast achievements in empathetic understanding that civilization has gained is a mistake.


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