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Posts: 7421/8194
(14-Mar-2008 at 11:46)
The Great Tantra Challenge

Score: Scepticism 1, tantrik magic 0
"On 3 March 2008, in a popular TV show, Sanal Edamaruku, the president of Rationalist International, challenged India’s most “powerful” tantrik (black magician) to demonstrate his powers on him. That was the beginning of an unprecedented experiment. After all his chanting of mantra (magic words) and ceremonies of tantra failed, the tantrik decided to kill Sanal Edamaruku with the “ultimate destruction ceremony” on live TV. Sanal Edamaruku agreed and sat in the altar of the black magic ritual. India TV observed skyrocketing viewership rates."

Read the rest, it is hilarious. Religious people and magicians should take note to make their claims vague enough that they can't be tested.
#1  
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(14-Mar-2008 at 15:15)


Haha, nice.. quite funny indeed.

Your brain is unique in the history of the universe. Use it wisely.
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(15-Mar-2008 at 08:32)
I'm not sure if the aims of tantra are much more than associating induced schizophrenia with physiological responces.

Perhaps an endurance challenge could be more in order.

For instance: Wim Hof's Amazing Abilities to Withstand Freezing Temperatures

Quote:
Hof came out of the museum, stripped to his swim trunks and climbed in a 5-foot tall plexiglass container filled with ice. Once he got in, they poured more ice into the container until it reached his chin.

Normally, when a person is exposed to freezing temperatures for a prolonged period of time, the body goes into survival mode, as its liquids begin to freeze.

But Hof stayed in his tomb of ice for one hour and 12 minutes. Then, the ice was poured out of the tank, and Hof emerged, his skin still pink.

One answer might lie in an ancient Himalayan meditation called "Tummo," which is thought to generate heat. Hof began practicing the ritual years ago.

"Legends abound of practitioners of Tummo sitting out on the ice naked except for wet sheets that they have draped around them, and as they meditate, the sheets dry and the ice melts around them, even though it's freezing temperature," Kamler said.

Like Hof, Lynne soon discovered that she had an almost super-human ability to survive in frigid water. In 1987, she became the first person to swim across the Bering Strait, from Alaska to what was then the Soviet Union, in 38-degree water.

"I went into the cabin and sat down and focused and breathed and thought about how I was gonna enter the water, how I was gonna do the swim. I sort of … I went through a mental rehearsal of it all. And that preparation, my body knew that I was going to jump into very cold water," Cox said. "Before I went in the water, one of the doctors took my core temperature, my internal temperature, and found it was 102.2."
And Tantric Master Breaks Ice Record in NYC

Last edited by Gotterdammerung, 15-Mar-2008 at 08:35.
#3  
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(16-Mar-2008 at 14:38)


Yeah that's indeed more of a sensible challenge, meditation lends itself much better to those type of concentration/endurance tests than pseudo-voodoo 'strike you dead on the spot' type silliness. Wim Hof is pretty damn amazing with it too.. as the Doc's say in that article; "It's a mystery that we have not yet come close to solving, although we do have tantalizing clues," he said. "It tells us that there's enormous potential within the brain that is going untapped. And if we can study them more, and study people like them more, maybe we can unleash that potential for the rest of us."

Guess that sort of makes it Score: Scepticism 1, tantrik magic 1 eh

Your brain is unique in the history of the universe. Use it wisely.
#4  
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(16-Mar-2008 at 15:26)
Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

It's impressive what you can train yourself to do, but in no way magical. Read this interview.
#5  
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(17-Mar-2008 at 04:01)
No, it's not about magic, but it's not about rationalizations either. I think the point Hof made was "we can do more than we think".
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(17-Mar-2008 at 14:47)
Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post
No, it's not about magic, but it's not about rationalizations either. I think the point Hof made was "we can do more than we think".
Certainly, but then it doesn't have anything to do with magic so it's still
Scepticism 1, tantrik magic 0
#7  
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(17-Mar-2008 at 15:32)


Quote:
It's impressive what you can train yourself to do, but in no way magical.
Well that rather depends on the definition of magic

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(17-Mar-2008 at 16:04)


Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by DHoffryn: View Post
Well that rather depends on the definition of magic
Isn't magic something which per definition cannot be explained by science and logic? The fact that we haven't completely figured out how he does it, doesn't mean it's not perfectly natural.

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#9  
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(17-Mar-2008 at 16:30)


Quote:
Isn't magic something which per definition cannot be explained by science and logic? The fact that we haven't completely figured out how he does it, doesn't mean it's not perfectly natural.
Well i guess that's one of the possible definitions. And if we go by it it is magic until we can figure out exactly how he does it

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
#10  
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(17-Mar-2008 at 17:28)
Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by Nimon: View Post
Isn't magic something which per definition cannot be explained by science and logic?
I'd say it is something that should be impossible given known science, otherwise a whole range of phenomena that as far as we can tell are perfectly natural even if we haven't gotten a good explanation would have to be called magic. Telepathy is magic because there doesn't seem to be any field able to transmit information between to brains at a distance, and if there were science ought to have found it. The flight of the bumblebee never was magic even if it took physicists a long time to figure out exactly how the aerodynamics worked.
Quote:
The fact that we haven't completely figured out how he does it, doesn't mean it's not perfectly natural.
All he does is increase his metabolism and keep blood flow up so the extremities doesn't get frostbite. An unusual physical reaction for someone from Holland, but nothing magic.
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(17-Mar-2008 at 18:53)


Ha!

Magic from fake Gods will fail every time.

That reminds me of Elijah's challenge to the prophets of Baal in the Bible:

First Kings Chapter 18

22 Then Elijah said to them, "I am the only one of the LORD's prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God."
Then all the people said, "What you say is good."

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire." 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, "Your name shall be Israel." 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs [a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood."

34 "Do it again," he said, and they did it again.
"Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
#12  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Royal Assassin3 Add Royal Assassin3 to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
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(17-Mar-2008 at 20:30)
Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by Royal Assassin3: View Post
Magic from fake Gods will fail every time.

That reminds me of Elijah's challenge to the prophets of Baal in the Bible:
Well, it is considerably easier if you don't have to actually prove your claim, but can only write down much later that once upon a time some ancestor performed magic. Are you, or anyone else, prepared to repeat that performance today in front of cameras, only then does it count. I'm sure the worshippers of Baal had their own stories in which it was their Gods who could perform miracles.

You forgot the interesting part of the story:
"40 Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there."

That's how you should treat prophets who fail to prove their religion. Anyone still interested in a challenge?
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(17-Mar-2008 at 21:57)


Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by Royal Assassin3: View Post
Ha!

Magic from fake Gods will fail every time.

, .
How your god is less fake aside do you actually believe this? That it always fails? 100% firm belief? Believe this so hard that you would be willing to expose yourself to all kinds of possible curses and so on?


Quote:
That reminds me of Elijah's challenge to the prophets of Baal in the Bible:
Not really impressive considering that your god has been challenged dozens of times on this forum alone

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
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(18-Mar-2008 at 05:32)
Anyway, we're only calling it 'magic' because most of origins of these practices had 'magical' belief systems. The paradigms worked but are, as you can see, simply not the only way of understanding these practices. I think the meaning of tantra is much more significant to a practitioner rather any given practice on it's own. Some where along the line there is a function being met and this is an important thing to keep in mind, especially in religious thought.

If tantric buddhists want to see the world as a palace of light then I say let them. I wouldn't hold it against them that there 'magic' is not provable, because that's putting their paradigm inside our paradigm, which, of course, is not compatible. In its own right, I think tantrik magic is justified and scientific method is not necessarily supreme. It can't be. That's intellectual imperialism.

Last edited by Gotterdammerung, 18-Mar-2008 at 05:36.
#15  
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(18-Mar-2008 at 08:11)
Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post
In its own right, I think tantrik magic is justified and scientific method is not necessarily supreme. It can't be. That's intellectual imperialism.
The difference is to what extent the different methods work. Here is a scary video what happens if you have false beliefs about the power of chi. (Not for the squeamish)
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(19-Mar-2008 at 03:18)
Re: The Great Tantra Challenge



Here is a scary video what happens if you have false beliefs in the power of science.
#17  
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(19-Mar-2008 at 07:30)
Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post

Here is a scary video what happens if you have false beliefs in the power of science.
That bomb worked exactly as planned, didn't it?
#18  
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(19-Mar-2008 at 09:14)


Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by Gotterdammerung: View Post

Here is a scary video what happens if you have false beliefs in the power of science.
So realizing that our knowlege of physics allows the construction of nuclear weapons is somehow a false belief?

Official #la drunken bum and gun-nut
Ladies, does this rag smell of chloroform to you?
To Naz "Nacho, nacho man I've got to be, a nacho man Nacho, nacho man"
I don't respect your beliefs and I don't care if you're offended. Cheers.

Last edited by Antikristuseke, 19-Mar-2008 at 09:15.
#19  
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(27-Mar-2008 at 07:00)
Re: The Great Tantra Challenge

Originally Posted by Antikristuseke: View Post
So realizing that our knowlege of physics allows the construction of nuclear weapons is somehow a false belief?
Well, yes, it can be.

Science is a tool for us to achieve what we deem as our ends. However, such belief in the overall power of science to deliever us from falsehood can be misleading. While the bomb works, it's power is decieving. It is a false belief not in the sense that it does have observable cause-and-effects, but in the way that man is not always supreme when it comes to knowing his own science.

A tool is deemed falsely identified when the craftsmen is adversely effected. To translate to more appropiate terms: science is a false belief in some applications due to its profound cause-and-effects, which can destroy not just scientists but science itself. This is much more significant in falseness than any dogmatic spiritually or what-have-you, because scientists get it wrong too, though the consequences are much more adverse.

It's not about the 'power of science' or the 'power of chi' it's about the human who wields the power. Any belief can be false as any can be true, the thing that makes chi in this instance false is not the concept itself but the stupidity behind the individual who wields it. If something 'works' it's just natural, whereas if it does not, well, then it's not going to be around for much longer is it. There is simply no basis for science over chi for the sole fact that it 'works'. Chi works, too, and to a lesser extent sure, but that is not relevant.
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