- Mar 2013
entropy vs eternity. Yes i see what you mean
As I already said the five elements theory is not unscientific, because it is based on epistemology of how your senses collect data. You senses collect sights, smells, tastes, touches and sounds. They are not reducible to one another, hence they are quite literally elements.I am talking about the examples you yourself have given. The notion of five elements as well as the notion of "humourism" in Indian medicine (tridosha) are both nonsense.
This is due to lack of standardization and legislation on modern Ayurvedic companies, not Ayurvedic medicine itself. The use of mercury, silver, iron and lead is used in a special branch of Ayurveda called Rasayana or rejuvenation therapy, corresponding to modern therapy immuno-modulation therapy. This branch of medicine is based on herbs, minerals and herbo-minerals formulations that are known to enhance longetivity, energy levels and virility. This has been established on centuries of clinical trials(Ayurveda had its own clinical trial and drug testing protocols) Mercury had been established to be one of the main rejuvenaters, but it was also considered a toxic substance. The Ayurvedic pharmacist had to treat the Mercury by a special process whereby the Mercury would be reduced to minute nanoparticles, the minute nanoparticles would be combined with herbs increasing the bioavailability(in other words the herbs would be absorbed quicker and better) This type of therapy was used in very serious diseases like tuberculosis, cancer, leukemia and diseases resembling modern AIDS.On this point, I should mention with great sadness that the continuing practice of Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) has resulted in many instances of poisoning and adverse effects among the patients upon which it has been administered. What is really sad is that these cases are completely preventable, but knowledge about proper medicine and pseudo-medicine is sadly lacking among some circles. Some relevant sources:
Heavy metal content of ayurvedic herbal medicine products. [JAMA. 2004] - PubMed - NCBI
Acute renal failure secondary to ingestion of ayurvedic medicine containing mercury
Use Caution With Ayurvedic Products
Be Wary Of Heavy Metal Poisoning From Ayurvedic Medicines | Medindia
Yes, they are saying the same thing only insofar as they saying atoms must exist. However, there method is not the same. The Indians are using more formal logical arguments. This is why the Indians have developed a more superior atomic theory.Okay, I'll try again.
Democritus ---> Atoms must exist because it is illogical for something to be subdivided ad infinitum. There must be something which serves as the basis of all matter (this is elaborated on more by Lucretius in De rerum natura).
Indians ---> Atoms must exist because if something can be divided an infinitum, then you can rearrange those infinite pieces into anything you want. That is obviously impossible, ergo, it is illogical for something to be subdivided ad infinitum.
Both Democritus and the Indians believed that atoms must exist, because they both believed the converse was illogical. That's where they are both saying essentially the same thing. Obviously, their actual conception of what an atom is, and how it interacts with other atoms, differed.
As I said your empirical world - literally your world as senses apprehends it - is only made up of 5 sensory forms: smells, taste colours/forms, and sounds.There is nothing "elemental" about the five senses. All of them can be reduced to mere undifferentiated currents of electricity (action potentials) flowing to your brain.
The Indians said there were only five elements based on the senses because their understanding of human biology, as well as chemistry, was primitive.
The Indians understood ether to be a fifth physical elements synonymous with space which was carrier of wave activity. It is through which waves propogate. It is somewhat similar to the quantum. The similarity between the quantum and the Indian "akasha" is so striking that even modern philosophers of science have started to use the terms interchangably. Today science sort of admits the existence of the ether. The ether theory was rejected to due the Micheal-Morley experiment and replaced with Einstein's inertial frames, but it has come back again due to quantum theory and new experiments supporting its existence.You have not explained what is "ether" and what it has to do with hearing.
No, I have already given you the definition of what the Indians considered atoms and I have not said anything different: Atoms are dimensionless, infinitesmal point like entites which are responsible for the sensible properties of things.(The Buddhists consider atoms to be momentary flashes of energy, similar to quantum field theory) What we call "atoms" and "subatomic particles" are misnomers. What we consider to be atoms would be considered by the ancient Indians as higher order aggregates. There can be such thing as "sub atomic" because for the Indians atoms are indivisible.I notice that you interpret the Indian atom as "quarks" whenever it suits you, and as the modern conception of an "atom" when it suits you.
My Maths teacher use to say to me that if the Greeks had been allowed to continue their march of philosophy and science, we would have been in the space age 1000 years earlier. Similarly, Indian civilization suffered great upheaval. The Mahabharata war has been regarded by Indians to be absolutely devastating destroying much of the order of Indian society and losing so many of its learned one. From that time Indian civilization was on a downwards spirals and by 500BCE Indians were constantly invaded - left, right and center. Despite this, Indians were still way ahead in science right up until the medieval ages. They had already developed by this time formal methods of calculus and were giving equations of motions. But then they were under siege by the Muslims, all their universities and libraries were laid to waste. When the British arrived, India was already broken and a pale shadow of what it was in ancient times. Its GDP had been falling rapidly from the time the Muslim invasions had started - from 33%(1-1000AD) to 16% by the Mughal empire to 5% by the end of the British empire.Why not? I thought Indians were about 2500 years ahead of the rest of the world, according to you. So why didn't they lead the way into modernity? Why was the scientific and technological gap between India and the West so astonishingly vast by the time Britain colonized India?
Of course there are differences, but the similarities are far too numerous and identical in comparison to some differences. The Vedanta version is more sophisticated, coherent and systematic philosophy than Plotinuses mystical speculations. The Vedanta had to pass through the stringent standards of providing arguments and evidence in Indian scholarly culture, which Plotinus didn't or nor did any other Greek philosopher. Indian philosophy is often accused of being very technical and hairsplitting, but this was because in Indian debating culture the standards of scrutiny were very high. If the terms and definitions in an argument were not precise, an opponent could tear the arguments into pieces. One of the reasons Buddhism declined in India because it found it difficult to defend its non-self theory due to faulty definitions of self. The Vedantins, like the other schools, had to defend, refine and demonstrate every single point in their philosophy and make sure all inferences they were made were water-tight.Just a quick answer from my side, more will come
" The existence of an individuated jīva and the world are without a beginning. We cannot say when they began, or what the first cause is. But both are with an end, which is knowledge of Brahman." (your source, 2.a)
"We hold that the ordered universe, in its material mass, has existed for ever and will for ever endure: but simply to refer this perdurance to the Will of God, however true an explanation, is utterly inadequate." (six Enneads, 2.1)
Isn´t this alone already a substantial difference?
You have not exactly outlined what those moral implications are. If you do, then I can compare it the ethical thought of Vedanta. Perhaps it would help and save me from perusing material on Plotinus, for you to do something similar to me and outline his philosophy. Then I can show you the similarities and the differences with Vedanta.Another quick reply (I guess I will keep it this way, when I discover something while comparing, I post it, so maybe the most important argument will be in between)
Plotin has moral implications from his metaphysics (3rd enneade, on providence, 8), which is lacking completely in the Vedanta?
Just a clarification here, as I seem to be sleep walking while typing that post! I meant to say that even today we sort of have a 5 elements theory or our modern day physical entities could be put in the Indian 5 elements scheme:Even today even we sort of say there are 5 elements: There are forces(electric, gravity, charges) there are waves, there are particles and there is radiation/light.
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