Have there been any philosophical attempted proofs of the existence of Vishnu or Brahma or of the Divinity of Buddha? What about the existence of what the Freemasons believe in or those 'Thetans' that Scientologists believe in ? Are there any attempted proofs of existence in other religions concerning what they believe in?

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  • ............Yes – David H Oct 26 '14 at 4:29
  • Freemasons believe in a plurality of beliefs. No one religion is to them greater than another. So the God entity to them may be very loosely defined. – Neil Meyer Oct 26 '14 at 9:44
  • No , Freemasons have a Deity they call the Great Architect ( I think that is the name) ; they even have some sort of burial ceremony dedicated to this. They are not like the Be'hai faith. – user128932 Oct 27 '14 at 10:08
  • If other religions or belief systems have some sort of attempted proof of what they believe in ( other than Christianity ; which has been steadily mocked off and on for about 2000 years) their 'proofs' of their valued concepts are certainly not that apparent. The media or T.V. or movies don't seem to go into other religions or belief systems much. If the media or literature or philosophy critically analysed other religions with as much 'negative' intensity as they analyse the Bible the other religions and belief systems might have problems. – user128932 Nov 5 '14 at 8:17
  • It certainly seems like Christianity is the most criticised religion in North America and Europe. All the attempted proofs of the God of the Bible have been ridiculed or dismissed by various philosophers and anyone today who comments further has to have A LOT OF ACADEMIC credentials before they get a response. – user128932 Nov 25 '14 at 18:37

I'm going to answer this question indirectly by critiquing the question of proof; and then not by myself, but by way of quotation, and that by Weyl, a German mathematician famous for bringing symmetry principes to the for in matematical physics, he wrote in Das Kontinuum:

In the Preface to Dedekind (1888) we read that “In science, whatever is provable must not be believed without proof.”

This remark is certainly characteristic of the way most mathematicians think. Nevertheless, it is a preposterous principle. As if such an indirect concatenation of grounds, call it a proof though we may, can awaken any “belief” apart from assuring ourselves through immediate insight that each individual step is correct. In all cases, this process of confirmation—and not the proof—remains the ultimate source from which knowledge derives its authority; it is the “experience of truth”

(In fact it is quite possible to follow and verify each step of the proof and not actually understand the proof at all; so, so much for 'proof'; but note, that this isn't a complete and blanket dismissal - it is a sign that proof is much more subtle than a simple logical 'concatenation' of propositions; proof to 'waken belief' given that mens nature and their circumstances are plural are also in themselves plural).

This in fact was the influence of Kants philosophy on him via a commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason, thus:

Throughout his life Weyl held to the view that intuition, or insight—rather than proof— furnishes the ultimate foundation of mathematical knowledge.

Given this, one might then hesitate to ask for proof in religion when proof itself can be interrogated and critiqued in its paradigmitic stronghold - mathematics.

The above quotations are from Bells Hermann Weyl on Intuition and the Continuum (Bell helped formalise the differential calculus by a more intuitive & geometrical notion than the now standard notion of limits). However its worth also quoting Arne Naess, a Norwegian philosopher in his essay A Plea for Pluralism in Physics and Philosophy:

The world of personalities, of consistent personal perspectives, is today still a colourful world, immensely satisfying to contemplate for its unbelievable variety. It would be disastrous to use the prestige of science to lay down limits and exclude some worldviews, for instance religious, or squarely antireligious, as being refuted by science, or to call them irrational or intellectually dishonest because they do not fit in with the definite philosophy of science.

After all, the carefully formulated results of genuine scientific research are largely neutral toward differences in comprehensive worldviews. (And why should philosophers of science be less modest than the scientists whose work they exploit?)

One should reflect on this after noting that proof is the pardigmitic sign of the modern sciences, in essence its 'objective' measuring rod.

  • Maybe 'proof' shouldn't be used in religion or theology at all. But one can say to someone else ( if they're interested) the reasons one has for believing some set of beliefs. Also one probably believes these 'reasons' are not just in ones own 'mind' ( like figments of personal 'imaginings') but are communicate-able and possibly verifiable to others that may agree with the beliefs. Verifiable in a real sense that the belief set and its inherent principles actually can apply to ones life. – user128932 Oct 27 '14 at 10:52
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    I'd suggest that proof is the sign of mathematics, but disproof is the sign of modern science, following Popper. – Quirk Oct 28 '14 at 8:24
  • Is it circular reasoning to try to prove the validity of an important religious text by using only that text itself? – user128932 Nov 2 '14 at 2:24

Yes. But first, Buddha never claimed divinity. He said that he had attained Buddhahood through his realization of Nirvana and that same realization could be attained by all men.

Second, Brahma is the title of the creator of the present universe. It's a position that is attained after a certain amount of austerities; it's more of a title like governor. Brahma is a devi. This has been very loosely translated as 'god', but the actual literal translation is 'shining one'. It is not a 'god' in the Greek sense. When this universe dissolves and a new universe is to start, a new soul becomes Brahma.

Buddhists and Hindus say that the only proof of 'Reality" is in your own experience. Brahman (the ultimate Reality) and Nirvana are beyond the sensual world - as such there is no 'proof' in the sensual world. One must go beyond the senses. It can only be experienced.

How is an object known? Either by the sense organs or the mind. Brahman is without form, without sound, touch, smell, or taste. "His form is not an object of vision; no one beholds Him with the eye." (Katha Upanishad II. iii. 9.) The light of Brahman endows the senses and the mind with their sentency; they cannot enlighten Brahman. The realization of the transcendent Absolute is an inexpressible experience in which the distinction between subject, object, and knowledge is annihilated and they become one.

Nevertheless, although the only real proof is in the experience, there have been numerous arguments given for the existence of Brahman. Several good sources of these arguments are The Upanishads, Juana Yoga by Swami Vivekananda, Upadesa Sahasri of Sri Shankaracarya translation by Swami Jagadananda, and Self-Knowledge (Atmabodha of Shankaracharya) translation by Swami Nikhilananda.

  • I know Buddha never claimed divinity but his followers later regarded him as divine ; do they have any 'proof' of this? Buddha himself only wanted Buddhism to be a philosophy. Are Brahma or Vishnu or Krishna 'gods' in the 'Hindu' sense and are the arguments for the existence of Brahman only in Hindu texts. Is this circular reasoning? 'Proofs' of the existence of God of the Bible that depend on Biblical text have been ridiculed for centuries by many unsympathetic writers. How come not many of these writers who try to negate the Bible don't apply their negative analysis to other religions? – user128932 Oct 27 '14 at 10:41
  • Brahman is the undifferentiated Absolute Being. It appears in different religions, not only Hinduism. A good Western tradition that argues for this Absolute is "The Six Enneads" by Plotinus. There have been many unsympathetic writers about Hinduism, probably more than Christianity as it was 'safer' for Western scholars to criticize Eastern religions than Christian traditions. For a scholarly Hindu response to some of the modern negative analysis done by Western scholars, read 'Invading the Sacred' available as a free download - rajivmalhotra.com/books/invading-sacred – Swami Vishwananda Oct 28 '14 at 10:20
  • Also, Krishna is pretty universally accepted by all Hindus as being an Incarnation of God (big G). Vishnu is more complicated, depending on which Hindu tradition you follow. There is the mythological Vishnu, there is a Hindu tradition where the followers of Vishnu accept Him as the one and only God, and there are those who see Vishnu as another name for the undifferentiated Brahman. It takes some study to understand all the different concepts at play. There is not an easy or quick answer. Brhama I had already addressed in my answer. – Swami Vishwananda Oct 29 '14 at 5:10
  • I have not heard about many unsympathetic writers to Eastern religions , or Hinduism. With all the 60's culture of the hippies and even the Beatles as well as other rock groups promoting counter-culture and counter-Christian philosophies viewing Eastern mysticism favorably ; I think religious views that weren't considered 'authoritarian' as considered being in Churches were valued in the 60's and 70's. The media especially T.V. and movies critices Christian views left and right but I have not seen many such critiques of Eastern religions. – user128932 Nov 2 '14 at 2:21
  • Read the book I referenced above, Invading the Sacred, and then see if you still believe that. – Swami Vishwananda Nov 2 '14 at 4:52

The 4 Noble Truths is a proof of Lord Buddha's supreme enlightenment and thus supreme most divinity. Buddhists take refuge in Buddha and only He is called Teacher of Gods and Men, Sattha Deva Manushanam.

God does not just come on earth saying "believe me, I am God". The 4 Noble Truths is The Ultimate proof of our equality since it is an algorithm using self similarity or recursion to solve the problem of suffering using fractal regeneration to make us whole.

A recursive algorithm becomes proof by induction in mathematics.

All of religion is about making us whole again. So In Buddhism we are no longer the foot or Head of Brahma or Ardha Shiva/Shakti as the primitive hindus who used this to justify the caste system. Or as in Christianity, parts of The Bride of Christ.

In Buddhism no marriage is necessary, we can become whole without the need of marriage or other usual sacraments.

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