To illustrate with an actual example from the thread 'Intellectual or conartist'
I attempted to explain the Vedanta theory of name and form to Asuri in a polite way(It is hard explaining complex philosophical arguments to a layman, but I have been known to be quite good at explaining complex things in simple ways to peers, so as long as the listener actually engages with me) Here is what I said:
This is what Vedanta is pointing out in its worldview. Although it maybe inspired by scriptural authority, it does demonstrate its points using formal arguments. The critique it makes about reality also comes from secular postmodernism, that reality is the act of language construction, including the realities of science. When we make an observation we isolate in our consciousness certain characteristics and then objectify it and label it, like say a table and a chair, and then we separate out all the isolated objects according to time and space - so we might say "The Earth is 91 million miles away from the sun, America is thousands of miles away India, I am a few metres away from the wall" but what if we say "How far is the sun from space" Then space disappears, because the sun is pervaded by space. Similarly, everything that occurs within the field of our consciousness is pervaded by consciousness - the sun, moon, stars, other people. Thus whatever we are isolating is in the field of consciousness. There is no such thing as something outside of consciousness. There is no such thing as a location of consciousness inside our outside. It all is consciousness. Any multiplicity we see is just an act of language.
Here is what Asuri said in response. First he said:
I congratulate you on some fine work here. I don't quite buy everything you're saying, but I'm not going to try to argue against you.
Then the next day he changed track completely and started 4 separate threads in separate forums in response, one of them being "Intellectual or con artist" It should be noted Asuri thinks that making arguments to support a Vedanta theory is 'con-artistry"
His response to my explanation is:
I don't care what kind of fancy label you put on it, the statement that reality is the act of language construction has to be one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.
I attempt to explain it even further and showing similar arguments to the Vedanta name and form theory in contemporary philosophy:
It is clear to me you find the the whole Vedanta worldview that all is consciousness incredibly abhorrent, by your strong reaction to it whenever it is articulated here! I simply do not share your opinion that the Vedanta worldview is only faith based, because I know it is based on a valid critique of reality based on language(name and form philosophy) and this critique is very popular today in philosophy of science(however ridiculous that may seem to you) That is, that whatever we know - like say a chair, a table, an elephant or a horse - is only a name we are giving to a form we can see. We assume that form to be an isolated object and a thing in itself. When really what it is is just a modication of our conscious experience.
This criticism is also given by Karl Popper, a giant of philosophy of science and whose framework is now been adopted into the scientific method. He shows that every observation we make is 'theory laden' in other words when we make any observation, say of even a glass, we assign to it certain behaviours and properties and call this object we have formed "glass" Then when we see the glass again we identify it as the object glass because it appears to conform to the concept we have formed. In this way we go around objectifying reality and dividing it with language - chairs, tables, oranges, apples - what have you.
Now what does a physicist find when he tries to find the constituents that make up these things we call chairs, tables, oranges, apples? He finds that they are not different substances, but aggregates of the same building blocks - or elementary particles. First, he was able to break them down to only three particles: protons, electrons and neutrons. Then he broke them down further when he realised that even these particles were made out of even more fundamental particles: quarks. But the whole atomic theory collapses when we reach something called 'quantum docoherence' this is when matter is no longer any kind of particle, it is a wave distributed everywhere. The chair, table, orange and apples are there these same waves of this fundamental stuff - but not specific objects yet - simply potentials or possibilities.
So far we are still working with the matter thesis, but here is where it gets tricky. Any of those possibilities or potentials of chairs, tables, oranges, apples etc have to be bought into manifestation by a conscious observer. Only then do we see a manifest reality. In other words everything that exists, is what we are conscious of. I am conscious of the chair; I am conscious of the table...orange...apple. So whatever reality you see is only what you are conscious of - chairs, tables, oranges, apples, earth, moons, sun, stars, galaxies. It is all within the field of consciousness. It is pervaded by consciousness in exactly the same way it is pervaded by space.
Of course you are never going to accept this worldview, but I am merely demonstrating the rationale behind this worldview.
Vedanta calls our objectified reality our 'transactional reality' It does not deny that it exists, it does indeed exist, but only as a part of our world of experience(in this case waking experience) It is a practical reality of names and forms. In this practical reality we can have a gold necklace, a gold ring, a gold statue, but in the essential reality only gold exists. Likewise, in our world of experience we can have a multiplicity of objects, but in the essential reality is all just one experiencing consciousness. The same conscousness that produces a multiplcity of objects in dream, is the same consciousness that producing them in the waking state.
Again why should we just isolate one band of conscious experience - the waking state - and call that real? It seem very arbitrary!
I gave him a more in depth explanation of what the language construction philosophy of reality says. Notice I have not made a single personal attack against Asuri. Here is his response to the time I spent trying to explain this to him:
his is all I'm going to respond to. I consider people like you who engage in this sort of thing to be predators looking for victims. Because if they believe this, they'll believe anything. You can sell them swamp land in Arizona. As far as I'm concerned your credibility is less than zero and I have no more time to waste on you.
Engage in what thing? Trying to explain a philosophy to somebody who thinks it is nonsense?
The whole interaction with Asuri can be modelled like this:
Person A: Makes a proposition
Person B: That is nonsense!!!
Person A: Gives Reason 1 to support proposition
Person B: You are a con artist, I will never believe in this crap!
Person A: Gives Reason 2 to support proposition
Person B: I hate people like you, I consider people like you preadators out to hunt innocent victims
It's like debating with a fundamentalist. The proposition could be anything, "The scientific evidence shows the earth is older than 5000 years", "Quantum theory says there is no physical reality", "Yoga and meditation has been proven to improve health"