There is a pre-test of a survey on a statement of Srila Prabhupada’s from his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.25.41 that is currently in progress. The pre-test is accessible here.
You are encouraged to take the test and provide feedback, which will be used to improve the survey.
The ongoing results are available here:
This recent bit of news shows why pratyakṣa (direct sense perception) and anumāna (inference) as pramāṇas are imperfect means of acquiring correct knowledge.
Washington (AFP) – A few years ago, two researchers took the 50 most-used ingredients in a cook book and studied how many had been linked with a cancer risk or benefit, based on a variety of studies published in scientific journals.
The result? Forty out of 50, including salt, flour, parsley and sugar. “Is everything we eat associated with cancer?” the researchers wondered in a 2013 article based on their findings.
Their investigation touched on a known but persistent problem in the research world: too few studies have large enough samples to support generalized conclusions.
Ivan Couronne, “Beware those scientific studies–most are wrong, researcher warns,” 5 Jul. 2018, Yahoo! News, 6 Jul. 2018 <https://www.yahoo.com/news/. . .>.
What is the cause of such a great proportion of scientific studies being wrong? The article indicates it’s the cheating propensity, vipralipsā.
But pressure on researchers, competition between journals and the media’s insatiable appetite for new studies announcing revolutionary breakthroughs has meant such articles continue to be published.
That is, despite the fact that researchers know their results are dubious, they nonetheless transmit such defective knowledge for the sake of personal gain.
See CC Adi 7.107 for further information.
Social science must have a theistic basis because the big issues in society cannot be decided merely by measurable characteristics or by speculative morality.
Start with imprecise numbers. We are told that there are currently 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S. Others say it’s closer to 20 to 25 million. The point is, nobody knows. We do know that close to a third of federal inmates are illegals. But we don’t know much about the rest, except for those illegal alien “dreamers” on television lamenting how they have to “live in the shadows.” We don’t know the extent of the costs to taxpayers of illegal immigration, even as we are told by amnesty supporters that they are net contributors to the economy through payroll and sales taxes. But they don’t tell us if that sum subtracts the $26 billion sent back to Mexico. We do know that taxpayers spend $2 billion a year to provide medical services to illegal aliens just in emergency room visits. According to Christopher Conover, state and local circumventions of federal prohibitions against health care for illegals are indirectly costing taxpayers $17 billion a year in care for illegal aliens. And that’s just health care. Some estimates put the total cost of illegal aliens at $89 billion, while others go as high $135 billion.
Bruce Thornton, “Lies, Damn Lies and Immigration Policy,” 29 Jun. 2018, FrontPage Mag, 2 Jul. 2018 <https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/. . .>
This shows that there are important things in this world that are right before our eyes and other senses that we cannot understand properly without guidance from Krishna and the great sages. Just the vast uncertainty alone about the number of illegal immigrants in America (bewteen 11 – 25 million) shows how difficult it is to understand even material subjects, what to speak of moral or spiritual ones.
Of course, being overly concerned with the maintenance of the body is itself a problem. And on such a pretext we may entirely dismiss concern with worldly affairs such as politics and economics . But if it is accepted that society can be arranged in such a way as to help people become self-realized, then such matters become spiritually important. This is why the varnasrama system must be something that is taught and preached.
Thus it is imperative for us to see the world through the eyes of the shastras and the great acharyas.