Response to Professor Kean Gibson

January 17, 2020 | By admin | Filed in: egielqmer.

first_imgDear Editor,Professor Kean Gibson launched yet another attack on Hinduism in her letter titled “Not a ‘misunderstanding of caste’ but how to manage ideology” (December 22, 2019).In this letter, Gibson argued that Hinduism promotes suicide because of reincarnation. According to Gibson, Hindus are more prone to committing suicide since they believe that they will return in another life. The Professor, however, failed to provide any support for her offensive claim.No attempt was made by Gibson to quote the Vedic text(s), which says that a Hindu can commit suicide because reincarnation allows him or her many other opportunities to live. In this information age, finding citation(s) is extremely easy with Google. All Professor Gibson is required to do is type ‘Reincarnation and suicide,’ and she would obtain sufficient material to advance her claim.It is not too late for Gibson to conduct this search, which will direct her to information that will easily falsify her irresponsible claim. For instance, she will find that in the Isavasya Upanishad, it is clearly stated that ‘he who takes his self reaches, after death, the sunless region covered by impenetrable darkness”. She will also find in every Vedic text the concept of Ahimsa, which encourages Hindus to respect all living things, humans, plants, animals. It would be paradoxical for Hinduism to promote respect for every life except self.As an academic, Gibson also failed to provide any empirical evidence to support her claim. There was no mention of any study that proves reincarnation is the cause of suicide. Even if there are studies that show that Hindus commit suicide, I couldn’t find any that provides conclusive evidence that the belief in reincarnation is responsible for Hindus committing suicide in Guyana or any part of the world.Any review of the literature on suicide would reveal that suicide is not limited to any religious group and is caused by factors such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsion, neuroticism, pessimism, and death obsession, economic distress, social pressure, family problems, access to lethal means, substance abuse, etc. Given this paucity of research regarding the nexus between reincarnation and suicide, Gibson can fill an important gap in the literature by conducting such a study. I am sure it would make her eligible for the Noble Prize since it would be groundbreaking.The fact is Hinduism does not promote suicide, and reincarnation is not responsible for Hindus committing suicide. While the suicide rate may appear to be correlated with one’s religious belief is does not mean that religious belief causes suicide.There is a major difference between correlation and causation that we teach our students in Introductory Statistics. They are not the same. Variables can be strongly correlated but do not influence each other. In Statistics, we refer to this anomaly as a ‘spurious relationship.’Another irrefutable fact is that reincarnation is meant to give Hindus as many opportunities to reunite with Gods since the supreme personality has infinite mercy and cannot condemn anyone to eternal damnation. Nowhere in the Vedic is scripture reincarnation promoted as an escape from one’s current existence. If Gibson can point me to the scripture that confirms this, I will publicly apologise to her.Sincerely,Sukrishnalall Pasha,Senior Lecturerlast_img

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