Re: The Divinity of Rohit (enter Karl Popper)

Rohit Khare (
Thu, 09 Oct 1997 20:28:57 -0700

Hi all,

Well, I finally caught my breath from starting at Apple and apartment
hunting, so I'll try to pick up where I left off.

Jim: nice post on pseudo-science - which I agree with - but I am really
missing something here. I feel like you've missed my point entirely.

I was making two points:
- Christ claimed to be divine (historical fact)
- He was telling the truth (personal judgement)

>> I find that the arguments Ernie has made in favor of the divinity of Jesus
are inherently unfalsifiable, and, furthermore, that Ernie is falling into
the trap of finding confirming evidence everywhere. <<

As I think I said before, falsifiability is the hallmark of experimental
science, not historical science. As you recall, the issue which originally
arose (and Rob just reiterated) was whether Christ claimed to be divine,
according to the Christian scriptures. As a historical statement, it
seems nonsensical to apply rules of experimental science to it, as
historical events are not precisely repeatable.

I could make an experimental case of the validity of faith - where I would
be liable to your charges of pseudo-science - but that is not what I am
doing here.

I only ask that you use the appropriate standards of truth. Does you also
believe that O.J. Simpson's guilt or innocence should be based on the
faslfiability of the claim that he killed his ex-wife, or the preponderance
of evidence/reasonable doubt?

>>To demonstrate this, let me show how the exact same arguments can be used
to test an alternative hypothesis, namely, that Rohit is divine (blessed be
the holy Rohit). <<

Okay, let us break this apart into my two categories. First, does Rohit
claim to be divine?

>>Well, I just talked to Rohit this morning, and he quite easily accepted my
worship. <<

Rohit is Indian, and Hindu. The line between divine and non-divine is not
very sharp in the Hindu worldview, so it is no big deal for Rohit to make
such a claim. Were Adam to make such a claim (assuming for argument he is
a good Jewish boy, which may be pushing it) it would be a big deal.

>>Rohit also makes the claim, "Before Adam was, I am. Above Adam, as now, as
always." <<

Well, I think that was in the context of claiming he was older than our
Adam, and hence eligible to drink at bars. If he claimed pre-existence to
the original Adam, plus immanence ("I am" vs. "I was") then it is a much
larger claim.

>>Well, Rohit's greatest act of forgiveness occurred when he forgave the
support drone who cycled a server, causing Rohit to lose an early magnum
opus on the future of the Web. What greater act of forgiveness is there?<<

Again, you missed my point. If the technician destroys Rohit's work, then
Rohit forgives him, that is simple generosity. If that same drone
destroys MY work, then ROHIT forgives him, Rohit is implicitly claiming a
greater stake in my work than I have. That is, he is a far larger injured
party than myself.

To be more precise, if it was Adam's work that was lost, then it might make
sense for Rohit to forgive the drone, because Rohit defines Adam's world,
and takes responsibility for all that goes on within it (except that small
part he grudgingly cedes to Michelle, the anti-Rohit).

At any rate, the issue was claiming authority to forgive or not forgive
things done to others, not the simple act of forgiveness. Sorry if that
was unclear.

>>Actually, Rohit claims superiority to God.

"Nay, God is a figment of my imagination, for I have invented God, not the
other way around."<<

Funny, I thought he held to the Calvinist viewpoint:

Hobbes: Is there a God?

Calvin: Well, someone is out to get me.

>>Rohit is certainly not a humble man.<<

Well, yes, but has anyone ever accused him of being a saint? With a
straight face?

>>I hereby assert that Rohit is not a normal man. <<

Okay, you got me there.

>>You can decide as you like, but I personally find the story of Rohit -- and
the person of Rohit -- far too wise and compelling to be explained by
"a-c". "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains -
however improbable - must be the truth."<<

Ah, but this precisely the point. You don't really believe that Rohit is
God - not in any practical sense. You wouldn't just leave your job and
move around the world and put yourself in grave bodily harm just because
Rohit told you to -- with no reasons given. Yet millions of Christians
(including myself, on a good day:) would do precisely that.

Sigh. I feel like you've completely missed my argument.

My point was that Jesus claimed to be God, because of various types of
Your point was that, according to your sources, Rohit claimed to be God
according to those same behaviours.
So, to that extent, you seem to be supporting my first point.

My second point was that the record of Jesus and his followers makes the
hypothesis that he was telling the truth more compelling to me. I did not
offer any evidence of this, I merely stated it as a personal observation.

Your statement that you felt the same way about Rohit was a nice bit of
mockery, but doesn't really address my opinions at all. You don't know
what I find compelling about Christ, nor do you offer any rationale for why
you would (or would not) consider Rohit's claims of divinity genuine.

I guess the only real point of my argument was to debunk the "Jesus was a
good teacher" arguement. If he was such a great teacher - but not divine -
then why would the vast majority of those who studied his works and learned
from him fundamentally misunderstand his main point?

Maybe the only real point is that I'm a lousy teacher, if I can't
communicate such a basic concept. Anybody out there in voyeur land want
to venture an opinion of why Jim and I appear to be completely missing each

-- Dr. E