Pratibhanusarini --- 九州インド哲学ブログ2

On Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies

The Syena sacrifice and technology



On the third day Prof. Shimazono talked on the arguments between Karaki Junzo and Taketani Mitsuo.

Scientists often presuppose that science is free from value.

Science itself is never bad. Only its application is wrong.

For example, nuclear science itself is not bad; only its application to wars is wrong.

So science itself is not responsible for disasters which may happen.

Scientists should pursue the truth, which is free from any value.

Technology itself is never bad. What matters is how to use it. It is human beings that are responsible for the result.

But is the modern science, represented by those on genom, etc, value-free?

Karaki severely criticizes the view that science is value-free.

The argument is similar to Kumarila's argument on ritual killings.

Traditional brahmins argue that the Syena sacrifice, although it is a black magic by which one curses one's enemy to death, is not bad by itself. Only its resultant effect, i.e. causing the death of the enemy, is ethically bad. The sacrifice is a cause and killing is an effect. The former is value-free, whereas the latter is ethically bad.

In other words, the Syena sacrifice, a kind of technology, is not bad.
It is the person who is responsible for the result.
The Vedas, which teach us the technology, are not responsible.
The Vedas tell us the truth.
They tell us the fact, but they do not tell us to do the sacrifice.
Sein and Sollen are different.

Or, Kumarila says, brahmins can accept that the Vedas command us to do it.
But what they tell us to do is not killing, but only its cause, the sacrifice.
Remember that the sacrifice and its result are diffferent.
The Vedas tell us good things, including the Syena sacrifice.

Brahmanical logic may not appeal to our modern minds.
We may think that what they try to do is just to protect the Vedas' authoritativeness.
They have a clear motivation for protecting the Vedas, which distorts the arguements.

But in fact the logic of protecting the modern science of which effects are catastrophic is the same.

Vedas tell us the black magic of which effect is killing, i.e. himsa.
Scientists tell us the technology of which effect is a catastrophy, mass killing or huge suffering.

veda---syena---himsa
science---technology---killing

What is the difference?
When protecting the authoritativeness of the modern science we do use the same logic that the traditional brahmins developed 1500 years ago in India.
If the Vedas are considered bad, similarly the modern science is to be considered bad.
If we think that the modern science is value-free or even good, similarly the Vedas are to be considered value-free or good.

Perhaps the Vedas are less evil than the modern science.
Killing one's enemy leads the sacrificer to the hell only once.
Furthermore, clever brahmins provide with a remedy sacrifice, prayascitta, by which the sacrificer can be rescued from the sin.
In the case of the nuclear science, however, the danger of radiation last for one lak years which amount to many lives.
Furthermore, we have no remedy for the catastrophic result which is not predictable, as we witnessed in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima.

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  1. 2014/02/13(木) 19:08:19|
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