Can society be moral without Varnasrama-dharma?

Over at American Greatness is this piece on recent revelations of child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church (bolding added):

Even in a faith founded upon the notion that there is no such thing as an unforgivable sin, should the penitent be sincere, what has been occurring in the church over the past 70 years or so would surely test the mercy of Christ himself.

No need to go over the nauseating details. The Church—and clearly not just in Pennsylvania—has descended into a nest of predatory perverts, largely but not exclusively homosexual, but child-molesters all. Even worse, its upper administrative reaches, the bishops, have conducted a cover-up under the guise of “compassion” and “protecting the Church,” denying, obfuscating, and lying about the extent of the problem—even as some of them were charter members of the racket. Their sanctimony is even more sickening than the sins they concealed, if such a thing is possible. read more

Rarely checking for errors not the same as never checking for errors. It's not even close to the same thing.

Regarding the editing of Srila Prabhupada’s books, Srila Prabhuapda rarely checking his own books for errors during his life time is not the same as never checking them–not even close.

Let’s say that a book has an average of one error every ten pages. That means that if you open up the book to any random location and read the page, you have a 10% chance of finding an error.

Now, if you do that repeatedly, the chances of finding at least one error very quickly approach a near certainty. read more

Most scientific studies are wrong Researcher gives warning

This recent bit of news shows why pratyakṣa (direct sense perception) and anumāna (inference) as pramāṇas are imperfect means of acquiring correct knowledge.

Washington (AFP) – A few years ago, two researchers took the 50 most-used ingredients in a cook book and studied how many had been linked with a cancer risk or benefit, based on a variety of studies published in scientific journals.

The result? Forty out of 50, including salt, flour, parsley and sugar. “Is everything we eat associated with cancer?” the researchers wondered in a 2013 article based on their findings. read more

Social Science Requires Theism It won't work otherwise.

Social science must have a theistic basis because the big issues in society cannot be decided merely by measurable characteristics or by speculative morality.

Start with imprecise numbers. We are told that there are currently 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S. Others say it’s closer to 20 to 25 million. The point is, nobody knows. We do know that close to a third of federal inmates are illegals. But we don’t know much about the rest, except for those illegal alien “dreamers” on television lamenting how they have to “live in the shadows.” We don’t know the extent of the costs to taxpayers of illegal immigration, even as we are told by amnesty supporters that they are net contributors to the economy through payroll and sales taxes. But they don’t tell us if that sum subtracts the $26 billion sent back to Mexico. We do know that taxpayers spend $2 billion a year to provide medical services to illegal aliens just in emergency room visits. According to Christopher Conover, state and local circumventions of federal prohibitions against health care for illegals are indirectly costing taxpayers $17 billion a year in care for illegal aliens. And that’s just health care. Some estimates put the total cost of illegal aliens at $89 billion, while others go as high $135 billion.

Bruce Thornton, “Lies, Damn Lies and Immigration Policy,” 29 Jun. 2018, FrontPage Mag, 2 Jul. 2018 <https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/. . .> read more

People’s Egos Get Bigger After Meditation and Yoga, Says Study (qz.com) Hatha Yoga a Distraction from Spiritual Life

Hatha Yoga Bad

The science is settled.

You don’t want to be a science-denier, do you?

In the paper, published online by University of Southampton and due to be published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers note that Buddhism’s teachings that a meditation practice helps overcome the ego conflicts with U.S. psychologist William James’s argument that practicing any skill breeds a sense of self-enhancement (the psychological term for inflated self-regard.) There was already a fair bit of evidence supporting William James’s theory, broadly speaking, but a team of researchers from University Mannheim in Germany decided to test it specifically in the context of yoga and meditation. read more

A Most Unlikely Sanskrit Enthusiast Pro Baseball Player Moe Berg

Born in Manhattan in 1902 to a pharmacist and a housewife, Berg played baseball at Barringer High School in Newark, NJ. He graduated from Princeton with a degree in classical and romance languages and became notorious for practicing Sanskrit from behind home plate.

Michael Kaplan, “This baseball player was secretly trained as a government assassin”, 16 Jun. 2018, New York Post, 18 Jun. 2018 <https://nypost.com/…>.

Cheating in the Field of Psychology

Psychology and cheating

One of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology turns out to have been faked. There is so much cheating in the field. Why do we put our trust in these “experts” and entrust our children to them?

From Medium:

It was late in the evening of August 16th, 1971, and twenty-two-year-old Douglas Korpi, a slim, short-statured Berkeley graduate with a mop of pale, shaggy hair, was locked in a dark closet in the basement of the Stanford psychology department, naked beneath a thin white smock bearing the number 8612, screaming his head off. read more

Psychotherapy is useless Does not make you happy

It looks like psychotherapy doesn’t help people all that much.

When it comes to America, we must notice, as I have often said, that far too much American therapy is of the touchy feely variety. Patients are induced to get in touch with their feelings and to feel their feelings. Beyond the fact that this approach doubles down on the social disconnection these patients feel, there is very little chance that the average middle-aged male, belonging to a high risk population, is going to consult with a therapist who is going to mother him or is going to tell him to get in touch with his feminine side.

Stuart Schneiderman, “”, 10 Jun. 2018, Had Enough Already, 11 Jun. 2018 <https://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/. . .>. read more

A Follow-up to the What the MS-13 Gang and ISKCON Have in Common Post Responding to some of the reactions

As a follow-up to the posting on MS-13 and ISKCON, I received a number of interesting reactions. But before I share some of those, I would like to make a few summary points:

  • ISKCON and the MS-13 Gang’s point of commonality is that women are kept out of decision-making on the grounds they are not suited for it.
  • ISKCON’s rationale is mandated by the scriptures, which say women should not be trusted.
  • MS-13’s rationale is based on consistently bad experiences in trusting them.
  • The big point is that MS-13’s experience “bears witness” to a Vedic truth, which is the position women should hold in society.

Some have found the comparison between the two organization so odious as to be beyond the pale. One devotee wrote,

“I did read your article and of course you are entitled to your opinion. No one can argue with an opinion.” read more