He then writes “One could say that it is the statement of a fact. However, the question is how one knows that it is a fact. There are no facts by themselves. The so-called facts have to be known even if words are not used. It is not essential that knowledge has to be expressed in words. However, knowledge has to be known, even if with the use of images, which we call citta rupa, and images are associated with mind. Thus there is no knowledge without mind, and the existence of something without knowing is unimaginable.” This paragraph is correct as well. Even what we identify as facts was identified as facts by mind. So far so good.
He keeps on attacking what he predicts would be an on his theory. He writes “One could object to the above and say there are so many millions in the world who have no knowledge of the existence of far away galaxies whose existence cannot be doubted. Also it could be pointed out that just seventy five years ago nobody in the western world knew anything about the other galaxies but they had been in existence for millions of years. Thus it could be argued that the objects could exist without them being known to anybody in the universe. However, this is a statement by an observer living today, and not a statement of an observer who lived millions of years ago. It is the knowledge of an observer of the twentieth century, who argues or extrapolates that the universe had been in existence for millions of years. What the present observer says is that the objects he identifies as galaxies had been in “existence” in what he identifies as space and time, or that the galaxies had modified the space-time for so many millions of years, if one believes in Einstein. The statements which appear to be objective are not so, as any statement made today is an utterance by an observer living in the twenty first century. What are identified as galaxies, perhaps together with some other “objects”, could have been identified as something else, if our five sense organs and the mind (in the eastern tradition mind is also identified as a sense organ) had different forms from what we have now.” There’s nothing incorrect in this paragraph either. The bottom-line is, everything we know, we learnt it using our minds. Even the answer to the question “Is there an objective reality?” must be considered as knowledge, created by mind.
Before I proceed to his next paragraph, we must review we’ve learnt so far. Mind and mind only, creates knowledge. Knowledge here means everything we know. So everything we know was created by mind. If you saying that there is an objective reality, you’re saying that you know that there is an objective reality. You created the knowledge about objective reality with the help of mind. You cannot talk about objective reality without creating knowledge about it. Therefore, even your concept of objective reality is dependent upon mind.
Let’s replace the term “objective reality” with the letter A. You say “A exists whether I know about it or not.” But here you have created knowledge about A with the help of your mind. Your statement “A exists whether I know about it or not” itself is dependent upon your mind. Even if you don’t state it, you have to grasp the idea with your mind. You cannot know about things without involving your mind. In Nalin’s own words “…there is no knowledge without mind, and the existence of something without knowing is unimaginable.”
Now let’s see what Nalin says next. He writes “We argue that the world is nothing but the creation of the observer, and the world is the same as the knowledge of the world. In the present approach it is not assumed that a world exists independent of the observer who attempts to know or gather “information” of an already existing world. The observer creates knowledge of the world, and hence the world, relative to the sense organs, mind and the culture of the observer. The knowledge is thus created by the mind with the aid of the other sense organs. There is no knowledge or world, before such knowledge of the world is created, and the knowledge is created as concepts theories etc., by the observer. Thus the so called world is the conceptual and theoretical world of the observer that has been created in the mind. It should be noted that the concepts need not be in the form of words, as images formed in the mind (citta rupa) are also considered as concepts.”
What is stated in the above paragraph is that world doesn’t exist independent of the mind. World is created by the mind. The world doesn’t exist independent of the mind. If one says “a world exists independent of the observer who attempts to know or gather information of an already existing world,” he is wrong. According to Nalin, world doesn’t exist independent of the mind.
So what Nalin’s saying is this.
1. Knowledge cannot exist without the mind.
2. The existence of something (world/universe/external-reality) is knowledge.
3. Therefore, that something doesn’t exist independent of the mind.
The meaning of the term “doesn’t exist independent of the mind” means that there is no objective reality. According to Nalin, nothing has an objective existence. It should be noted that the both the words objective and existence are creations of the mind. We have, with our minds created a word called objective. In our minds, if something objectively exists, it means that it exists even if we die or were never born. I must stress again that “exist” is a concept that we have created with our minds. Now let’s take Nalin’s next paragraph.
“The question may be asked as to what was there before the world was created by the observer, and whether the world is born and dead with the observer. The answer to the second question is no in the following sense. Before the observer was born there was the knowledge that his parents and grand parents had created. The observer gains most of the initial knowledge from his parents and relatives. The world of the observer is the world of his/her relatives, teachers and others, and what he/she creates.”
There’s a big CONTRADICTION in here. Nalin says, “Before the observer was born there was the knowledge that his parents and grand parents had created.” If knowledge was there before the observer was born, then that mean knowledge “objectively existed” before he was born. It doesn’t matter that “objectively existed” is just a concept that we created with our minds. Nalin just stated that his concept can’t be true (I’m not going to talk about what is true and untrue here. It is a separate, complex subject). But now he’s using this concept to support his claim that the world is not dead and born with the observer.
So that is the contradiction and it is a non-trivial one. The moment one claims that there is no objective reality (things that exist independent of the mind), the immediate question that follows is “what happens when you die? Does the world disappear?” We intuitively answer “no.” It would be ridiculous to suggest that the General Theory of Relativity just disappears when you die. But then you have to prove that it doesn’t disappear. Nalin does this by saying knowledge exist independently of one’s mind, which, as he said earlier, couldn’t happen, and thus creates contradiction.
Two three years ago, an article in English written by Prof. Nalin de Silva was published in kalaya.org, titled “CONSTRUCTIVE RELATIVISM”, in which he had clearly described his epistemological theory. He has actually made a grave mistake by clearly describing it. I will use this article to prove that the whole of his epistemological theory is built on contradictions.
He starts the article with the following paragraph.
“The materialists starting with the Greeks in the west, and the Dravyavadins in Bharat, in general attempted to reduce all phenomena to a materialist base. The Buddhist idealists in the form of Vinnavadins and the Greek idealists on the other hand wanted to show that the mind was supreme, and that the so called material world was the creation of the mind. We present a different approach, where the world as an observer “sees” is created by the observer due to “avidya” of anicca, dukka and anatta which could be “roughly translated” as ignorance of impermanence and soullessness.”
What we can learn from this is that Nalin de Silva’s theory is closer to idealism than materialism. Other than that, there’s nothing else one can learn from this since as Silva himself writes, anicca, dukka, and anatta “…cannot be grasped by the mind either in terms of other concepts or directly as an image formed in the mind.” He also writes “If “one” “grasps”, anicca, dukka, anatta then “one” attains Nibbana, and it is clear that knowing non permanence is not sufficient to attain Nibbana.” So far so good.
Then he writes “There are two concepts that are important in any discussion on epistemology and ontology. Epistemology deals with knowledge while ontology is on existence. Though there are two branches called epistemology and ontology in western Philosophy, they are interwoven. The existence is not independent of knowledge of existence, in contrast to one of the ideas expressed on existence in western materialistic Philosophy. Does the world exist independent of the mind? Or is there a world independent of the mind? The answers to these questions also have to be considered as knowledge, if we are to build a theory of existence. The ontology is not independent of knowledge and theory of knowledge.”
The questions “Does the world exist independent of the mind?” and “Or is there a world independent of the mind?” are essentially the same question. Other than that, there’s nothing wrong with this paragraph either. In fact, he is referring to one the fundamental difficulties that objectivists have to face. If there are objects independent of the mind, how could one learn about them without involving the mind? The concept of “existence” and “objective reality” are themselves creations of the mind. One philosopher once called the inability of philosophy to learn about the objective reality without involving the mind is a “scandal of Philosophy.” The great rationalist philosopher Immanuel Kant himself has recognised this problem. So far so good.
He goes on to explain further why his idea that the answer to the question “Does the world exist independent of the mind?” must be considered as knowledge. He writes “Whatever the answers given to the above questions, they are finally constructions of the mind. Nobody has ever found a way of expressing that the world exists independent of the mind, without finally getting the mind involved. Even if one is of the opinion that the world exists independent of the mind, one has to express that in words, and words are nothing but constructions of the mind. There is no way of expressing that the world exists independent of the mind, without involving the mind. Thus there is no Cartesian wall, as the existence of a world (observed) on the other side of the wall itself is a statement by an observer who has a mind.” This explanation is correct. So far so good. You cannot learn about anything without involving the mind, not even about the existence of a world.
I have included in this blog post only the comments that are relevant to the proof. The original thread is in indi.ca and can be accessed through this link.
Comment by David Blacker
I think a lot of moderates would like to believe that idiots such as Heshan and the Dunce are Rajapakse plants, or that morons like TT, Yapa, and Snut are Ranil plants. But the sad fact is that the UNP camp IS full of fools like Heshan and the Dunce, and the other side is also full of nutters like Yapa and TT. and all they do is maintain the status quo and make sure there’ll never be any common ground.
Comment by Lefroy
There is little doubt, if any, that Blacker is a Ranil plant, and an unpaid one at that too. Two words are enough to describe everything he has ever written: asinine fatuity. By the way, one thing I like about Ranil is that he looks calm and collected and happy, while most other UNPers these days don’t.
Comment by David Blacker
Sorry, Lefroy, I seem to have left you out of the moron list above. I guess that just goes to show that even in the idiot ranks you’re just forgettable
Comment by Lefroy
Oh it’s alright Blacker. Hey, congratulations! In the idiot ranks you are certainly unforgettable.
Comment by David Blacker
Oh what an intelligent and witty come back, Lefroy. It’s almost as good as your blog
Comment by PresiDunce Bean
I didn’t know you had a blog. Only knew after David ‘Common Ground’ Blacker spilt the beans in one of his wisecrack reply’s. Post ur blog address if you don’t mind.
Comment by Lefroy
Click on my name.
Thank you Blacker for promoting me for free. And hey, I’m not Ranil. Here’s 5 rupees
Comment by David Blacker
Oh, you need all the help you can get, and I do believe in helping the less fortunate 😀
Comment by Lefroy
Thanks Blacker. At least you are consistent about everything. You promote me and work for Ranil for free because you think we are less fortunate. And you are incredibly consistent in saying stupid stuff. One might think that one day you might run out of stupid stuff to say. But no, you are peerlessly stupid and you keep on expanding the boundaries of stupidity.
Comment by David Blacker
I think stupid people like you need all the promotion you can get, Lefroy, so I’m happy to let others share in your stupidity. I think Dulcy — I mean Duncy — will fit in well on your blog 😀 Suffer the fools to come unto thee lol
Comment by Lefroy
See what I mean? Consistently stupid, and original too
Comment by PresiDunce Bean
Nah…nothing original there. He was quoting the bible. It should read…”Suffer little ‘Useful Idiots’ to come unto MEE!”
(Rajapaksa version of the bible)
“But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
Luke ch: 18 vs 16
King James version
…we have a kingdom of Rajapaksa today…just walk around Colombo or the suburbs to figure out. WHY NO municiple council erections in Colombo?
…for an answer refer the books of matthew, mark, luke, john and blacker. (Holy BibleChinthana) Wannabe King James Rajapaksa Version…
…he..he..i too can play silly buggers like blacker…
Comment by David Blacker
To fools like you, Lefroy, everything beyond your intellect seems stupid 😀
Comment by Lefroy
If I paraphrase something someone wiser than you once said, an educated person is someone who knows what he doesn’t know. That explains why you talk about things without understanding what in the f___ you’re talking about. Here’s what has happened. I understand things that you don’t understand while you don’t understand anything that I don’t understand. Some of the things that only I understand, I think are stupid. Try to figure out the rest. It would be a good exercise to the small brain inside your bald head.
Comment by David Blacker
To assume that there are things that only you understand, and that you understand what others don’t, is not just the height of stupidity, but the height of arrogance. And arrogance without substance, as in your case, is just stupid. And anyone who’s read your blog, Lefroy will understand that there is nothing of substance there; just a little boy playing with words and rewriting hackneyed old concepts to look intellectual, but not even managing to look intelligent. Quick now, let’s hear a comeback like your famous “but I’m not as stupid as you are”. ROFLMAO.
Comment by Lefroy
Thanks for proving me right. Thanks for proving you’re stupid. You don’t know how to read properly.
Where have I said I understand things that OTHERS don’t understand? The word “OTHERS” for your information is plural. I only said I understand things that you don’t understand. Need any proof? The sentence “I undestand things that you don’t understand while you don’t understand anything that I don’t understand” is something that I understand and you don’t understand.
Have I assumed that there are things that ONLY I understand? I thought it was possible for someone who read my comment to understand from the context that here I didn’t mean that there are things that only I understand and no other human being can understand, and that what actually meant was there are things that I understand while you don’t understand. I’m sorry. I didn’t take into account the possibility that “context” is something that I understand but you don’t understand. I assumed my comment would be something that we both understand, but evidently it is not.
I might also say sorry in advance for assuming that this comment is something that we both understand.
It has been a day since I posted the above comment and David Blacker hasn’t yet responded, even though he has since commented on other posts on Indi Samarajiva’s blog. If Blacker wishes to respond, he is free to do it here.
As I wrote in my previous article, for Nalin de Silva, stupidity is a way of life. That is the only way one can explain his repeated displays of blatant stupidity. In his latest article “Get ready for a humanitarian attack,” published in kalaya.org, he has yet again shown his incomparable stupidity, his hunger to bathe in his own stupidity. It is worth noting that this man teaches higher mathematics in a reputable state university in Sri Lanka. One can only wonder to what extent he must have brain-washed his mathematics students, many of whom know next to nothing about philosophy or political science.
He talks about something called Western Christian Modernity (WCM). For him, it is in the last phase of its hegemony, and is acting like an insane person. Since it is only Nalin de Silva who is acting like an insane person, I would say WCM is acting like a cornered wolf, ready to use lethal force to save itself. He writes “It has no respect for the sovereignty of the other countries as has been exemplified from invasions, killings and supporting so called rebel groups in the countries in Asia and Africa. The USA that became the leader of WCM after the so called Second World War is trying desperately to hold to the hegemony of WCM. After more than five hundred years of world domination WCM will have to leave the planet without making the people suffer more and more.”
This Western Christian Modernity (WCM) is really a bullshit term for Western civilisation. WCM is not just about a movement in Western philosophy. It not just about capitalism or the social relations associated with its rise. It simply means Western civilisation. He talks about generalised theories and Meta narratives, which he thinks are the essence of WCM. But you don’t have to worry about those. If you read Nalin de Silva, it is pretty clear that WCM and Western civilisation is pretty much the same thing. It is interesting that Nalin de Silva has virtually never written a word about Western civilisation, and instead writes excessively about a Western Christian Modernity and a Judeo-Christian-Chinthanaya. This is simply to mislead the idiots who read him and believes every goddamn thing he says. If he said Western civilisation is going to collapse within few decades, or even centuries, no one among those American-porn-loving university students would give a damn to what he says and what he doesn’t say. Instead he uses a fancy term, “Western Christian Modernity.” Isn’t this intellectual dishonesty?
He writes, “The so called postmodernism is nothing but an admission of the fact that modernism has failed with its abstract so called objective generalizations. When the postmodernists state that there is no room for Meta narratives they simply state that it is not possible to generalize.” Doesn’t he know that postmodernism is not an admission of anything but an admission of stupidity of those who call themselves postmodernists? Doesn’t he know that Lacan wrote that the penis is equivalent to square root of -1? If Nalin de Silva seriously uses postmodernism to claim that his Western Christian Modernity is in its last phase, he is most certainly going bonkers and should go and see a doctor to check whether his erectile organ is not equivalent to the square root of -1.
Nalin’s tribalitic worldview cannot comprehend why there exists intellectuals like Noam Chomsky in Western countries. He just doesn’t get it. So he writes “The west also maintains people such as Chomsky who is not known to the average American in order to show to the world that there is freedom for the intellectuals to champion their views heard more by the rest of the world than by the Americans themselves.” Very nice way to talk about the world’s most important intellectual alive Nalin. It is no wonder why a fake public intellectual such as yourself doesn’t understand why a true public intellectual such as Chomsky believes what he believes. It must be even harder for you to understand why the American secret services just don’t kill the guy, or break his leg and feed him his own hair, like they did to Poddala Jayantha, that tiny little journalist.
Another interesting thing about this new article of his is his prediction on what will happen to Theoretical Physicists in the near future. The pundit writes “he only section among the western academics who still believe (it is nothing more than a belief) in grand theories are a species called Theoretical Physicists who still look for a grand unified theory a la Einstein. Theoretical Physicists led the way in western science from the time of Newton to that of Einstein but very soon they will become the laughing stock who will have to be hung with the strings in their superstring theories.” I have earlier read an article of his in the Vidusara newspaper in which he used the String Theory to support his claim that the Scientific Method is nothing but a sham. Again, this is intellectual dishonesty. Being a university professor and all, there is no way Nalin de Silva doesn’t know that the word theory has two meanings in science. Darwin’s Natural Selection was just a theory when he first proposed it. Now, it is still a theory, but it is certainly not a just a theory. Evolution was just a theory when it was first proposed. Now, it is still a theory, but it is certainly not a just a theory. Granted, you cannot prove those theories in the same way you prove mathematical theorems. But the theory of evolution is true as much as the heliocentric theory. It takes time for a theory to evolve from just-a-theory to a theory. String theory is still just a theory and this idiot used it to support his idiotic claim that the scientific method is just a sham (Aeroplanes fly you idiot). You know what Nalin, I don’t know about those theoretical physicists, but I know a certain mathematician who will become the laughing stock of the masses in the near future.
Among us there are people for whom stupidity is a way of life. It’s in their blood, running through their veins. It’s in their bones, and in what that remains if they die and fossilize. It’s in their DNA, in their genes. Some of those people are so stupid that they don’t believe those genes that make them painfully stupid actually exist, and instead believe that they are the creations of what they call Jedeo-Christian-Chinthanaya (Chinthanaya is not exactly the same, but not much different from Kuhn’s idea of paradigm, another idiot and his masturbatory fantasy). Among those stupid people who believe genes don’t exist, there are some university professors who teach higher mathematics. Among those university professors who teach higher mathematics there are people who believe the existence of a god by the name of Nãtha who conducts science experiments. One of those university professors who teach higher mathematics and believes that there exists a god by the name of Nãtha who conducts science experiments is Professor Nalin de Silva of the University of Kelaniya. Prof. De Silva of course has the right to believe whatever he wants to believe, no matter how weird what he believes is. It is weird ideas that drive the world forward. But at some point, a university has to draw a line simply in order to not look like a hospital for mental patients. Prof. De Silva has crossed this line. He is insane beyond reasonable doubt and must be interdicted.
Apparently, a research group associated with Kelaniya and Rajarata universities set out to find out the cause of the kidney disease that has been spreading all over the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa areas in the recent past. Apparently, they found that the concentration of Arsenic in the waters of wells, tanks and lakes of those areas were too high, and concluded that this could be the reason for the rapid spread of kidney diseases. Apparently, they found this by using a device called Atomic Absorption Spectrometer or something like that the chemistry department of the Kelaniya University possesses. Apparently, Prof. Nalin de Silva believes that this research group found this with the guidance of Nãtha Deyya.
Let us for a moment forget the ridiculousness of this belief and believe Nalin de Silva’s belief is true. That means one of the following three possibilities is true.
1. Nãtha Deyya always knew that it was Arsenic that was killing all those people and did nothing until someone came and asked for help.
2. Nãtha Deyya didn’t know it was Arsenic that was killing all those people and conducted a research (scientific or otherwise) to find out.
3. Nãtha Deyya didn’t know about the Arsenic and didn’t conduct any research. But when someone came and asked for help, he somehow guided that person to find the truth.
If the first possibility is true, Nãtha Deyya is a murderous bastard and people should be told not to worship him. He’s a bloody terrorist and we don’t negotiate with terrorists, let alone worship them. Also, whoever asked for his help must be arrested and interrogated for associating with a terrorist.
If the second possibility is true, the professors and lecturers who conducted this research must be kicked out from their universities and must be discredited. They have stolen someone else’s research and presented it as their own. Even if Nãtha Deyya gave it to them willingly, that doesn’t make it their own. It’s not their research.
If the third possibility is true, the research group must be asked to acknowledge Nãtha Deyya in their research papers. They need to formally thank him for guiding them.
If we go by Nalin de Silva however, this third possibility cannot be true. In his Dakma column of the 15th May 2011 edition of the Divayina Newspaper he writes, “It’s simply like this. We can see professors. Professors cannot see Arsenic. We cannot see gods. Gods can see Arsenic. I like this because there is certain symmetry in it.” This means Nãtha Deyya either knew about Arsenic all along, or came to know about it by means of research.
But we all know of course that Nalin de Silva is a delusional idiot and pretty much all he writes is just a load of bull crap. If he claims that this research group was guided by a god, he must provide some proof for that. There is none. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about proof (except when Tamil historians claim Sri Lanka has been a Tamil Nation before Sinhalese invaded it). He writes “I know very well that the so-called objective scientific method is a lie.” Hence the insane claims without any proof whatsoever.
The thing about scientific method is that it works. There are certain things called condoms that were made with the help of this method. It’s a pity that this guy’s parents didn’t use them. This guy is clearly delusional, if not insane. He needs help, is not capable of teaching in a university. So for Nãtha Deyya’s sake, interdict him.