LETTER: Milk miracle was no `sinister Hindu plot'

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The Independent Online
From Mr Nicolas Walter

Sir: Randhir Singh Bains (Letters, 25 September) contrasts what he calls "traditional Asian" thought and "Hindu philosophy" with what he calls "Western materialism" and "Western rationalism", and applies the distinction to the consideration of current Hindu miracles. But traditional European thought and Christian philosophy have similarly been contrasted with modern scientific ideas, and the same distinction has been applied to the consideration of Christian miracles.

Neither traditional religious ideas nor modern scientific ideas belong exclusively to the East or to the West, and both belief and disbelief in miracles occur everywhere. Thus the Hindu miracles have been defended by Indian believers but also exposed by Indian sceptics in rationalist and secularist organisations (as reported in the Independent).

The argument that there is an essential difference between Eastern and Western thought implies a sort of cultural racism, which is as objectionable as any other kind.

Yours sincerely,

Nicolas Walter

Rationalist Press Association

London, E14

23 September