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Source: http://www.sikhnet.com/sikhnet/discussion....3B?OpenDocument

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa!

Waheguru Ji Kee Fateh!

Brother Jass Singh Ji,

You write, "No circle can be a square because squares have four straight sides and circles don't."

How can you be so sure?

This is the Twenty-first century. We need to quit being entrenched in the old rigid logic from the dark ages and need to move forward. As much as I would like to, it is difficult to find time to respond to your lengthy missives. There are at least two or three threads from the past that are still loose and unfinished. I regret leaving them that way and I do not want to start another one before we finished those discussions.

I would rather be writing about the free will versus the Hukam. But I feel I need to respond to this topic. I liked Hannah's simple explanation. After an adequate explanation, if someone cannot understand contrasts in figurative language in the poetry, or discern its proper context, then, either that person is simply unable to comprehend at present, or is simply too brainwashed to understand. Wisdom is necessary to understand the scripture, much more so than logic.

Logic is bound by, and, is based upon what we know. There was a time when people believed that woman was created from man's rib and that the earth was flat. Until the Nineteenth century (except for the Gurus) everyone thought that light, or time, traveled in a straight line, but, in the early Twentieth century, scientists like Einstein and Swarzchild declared that this was also a mistake. We are still working on it, and we will continue to work on new ways to apply physics and mathematics to understand and define the universe and its intricate laws.

Guru Ji said, "When the creator expanded, unlimited living beings were formed. Whenever you drew everything in, all forms became absorbed into you." (Chaupai, Patshahi 10) The discovery of black holes is now starting to explain, at our level of comprehension, how this could be possible at the "physical" level.

Quantum gravity shows that time and space are not coherent (by our definition) at the level of singularity. Straight lines are in fact curved, actually a circle, if drawn far enough. The question "whether God creates square circles" becomes irrelevant in God's case, because all our definitions (square versus circles) are relative to our finite scale not to God's infinity. God is above relativity and the physical laws. Gurbani told us so, long before the scientists would confirm its significance. I have provided quotes in the recent past.

Questions like whether God created the universe ex-nihilo or ex-deo are logically flawed with bifurcation, just like your basic argument in this thread is. Your statement above is one such example.

This thread is bound to be long. But in the case of understanding SGGS, it would be a welcome sight. I would suggest that we start a new thread for each sub topic and that we stay on topic within that thread. In my profession, I am not able to promptly respond to every topic, especially the missives containing a deluge of quotes and arguments. I tend to write excessively wordy responses already.

Unless we understand them in proper context, all the scriptures appear to have some contradictory statements. As we know, Bible has been studied extensively. We are barely starting with our scriptures. Here are just a few sites regarding the Bible contradictions (I have no time to read them):

Contradictions & fallacies in the Holy Bible


Index to Biblical Contradictions


A List of Biblical Contradictions


Bible Contradictions


Here is an apologetic page: 101 Contradictions in the Bible Cleared Up


People misuse the "contradictions" to generate doubt and frustration among people of another religion. Frustration results in angry responses, giving the perpetrator an opportunity to cry "ad hominem" "red herring" etc., causing further confusion. This is just to share my past experience with the participants here, not to accuse you of anything.

It seems that the strategy is to demand logical explanations, cause frustration and confusion, making everyone feel deficient in their ability to engage in a logical discussion and to undermine their faith. They hope that no one remembers that this is not a course in logic but an effort to understand the scriptures properly. Most of the scripture avoids logic, not because it is illogical, but because it refuses to be bound by the web of logic. If one such participant does not succeed, others are waiting to jump in and help out.

I am sure that some people from other faiths will someday compile a list of all the 'contradictions' in Gurbani. Some so-called Sikhs have already worked on Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. We should study them and write proper explanations and rebuttal. But there is no need to waste too much time arguing with someone who refuses to see Gurbani in its proper light.

Let us look at just one example for now. If possible, we could apply the same principle to other such passages. I am not sure if this one is listed in the prior messages. "The Vedas as well as the Semitic books are fabrications, O brother, they do not relieve the agony of the heart" (727:7) and "Do not say that the Vedas and the Bible are false. He who does not contemplate them is false." (1350:5)

In the first verse, Kabir Ji addresses the Christians/Muslims and Hindus who follow the stories in their scriptures literally. They are deluded into thinking that their salvation is guaranteed by following certain rules given in these stories or a certain person from the past, or by worshipping a statue, while they ignore God who is with us, face to face, all the time. They ignore that the real search is inside their own heart, not outside. In their case, all the scriptures become useless paper and ink, not just the Bible, Koran or the Vedas. This applies to the so-called Sikhs as well.

In the second verse, Kabir Ji addresses the hypocrites, be it a Mullah or an atheist, or a "Sikh" who is devoid of religious yearning and blames the scriptures for his doubts. It would also apply to someone who is adamant that there are contradictions in scriptures. Here Kabir Ji admonishes him to apply the wisdom of the scripture thoroughly and correctly. Kabir Ji explains that the reason for his doubts is, selective understanding. For example, torturing living beings in the name of God but ignoring that the scripture also says that God is in everyone.

I am sure we could go on for months dissecting some "logical fallacies" contained my explanation here, depending upon whether we have a real desire to understand Gurbani, if we want to understand it spiritually or only logically, or if we just want to find reasons to argue.

But there are absolutely no contradictions in Gurbani. I hope this example above helps you understand and view the other passages in the same manner. Even though this implies that you may be mistaken, please do not call it an ad hominem fallacy. And please do not try to pigeonhole everyone's reply into some form of a fallacy. It does little besides being an attempt to evade the issue by causing diversions. Try to just state your own disagreement along with your reason for doing so.

If you still have a difficulty in reconciling them, then, rather than beating around the bush arguing over the abstractions, let us study one verse at a time, as I have attempted above. If you do not agree with my explanation, please teach me why you do not.

Thank you for your instructive messages.

Yuktanand Singh

Saline, Michigan, USA

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It's a nice response, but the fundamental inconsistency in this argument is that it's false to try to do away with the science of logic on the basis of logical reasoning.

The truisms that allegedly proved to be fallacies (the examples given are those of time or light travelling in a straight line, whatever that means) proved to be fallacies not because the science of logic was wrong, but rather because the postulates on which the theories were based were false.

Inconsistencies are very important, when it comes to ascertaining the truth of a series of representations from the same source on the same subject.

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