- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 1108 Hour
- Reading permission
Originally posted by tradervic at 2007-5-14 21:38
When it comes to religion, I find that most, if not all, religions have:
1) A belief in a creator of the universe, i.e. God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Great Spirit, etc.
Certainly not true. Buddhism doesn't. Daoism also doesn't. Both are atheistic religions, and also philosophies of life. For instance, Buddhism is all about identifying problems in life (like pain), the cause of the problems, and the remedy to those problems -- i.e., reaching a most painless state through the means of the eight-fold way (dao = way in Chinese, which also explains the term daoism).
Originally posted by thinkk at 2007-5-6 16:48
China is considered to be a country of no religion.
Because people don't get it. Religion is intertwined so much more in daily life in China, while it is fairly separate in the West. The largest religion in China is "folk religion", people belieiving in spirits and goblins of all sorts. Often it is intertwined in Buddhism, which is why you see all these figurines of gods and goddesses in Buddhist monastaries. They are really not part of Buddhism, but are a deformed variety of Buddhism that arose by the less educated (those who didn't attend the imperial examination system exams).
(Neo-)Confucianism has also borrowed heavily from folk religion and Buddhism, and teaches moral ethics. Confucianism is partly about recognizing the order of ranks in society, that is, it is a political tool as well, and therefore used by politicians through all ages in China.
For instance, China's weird taboo on sex is Buddhist in essence, and was incorporated into Neo-Confucianism for this reason. It was not part of the original Confucianism, and there was no such taboo until Buddhism started dominate. This is like Christianity in the West, also a fairly sex negative religion.
So when the Chinese authorities warn about "unhealthy" practices on the internet (i.e. porn), they don't motivate it -- they can't, because it is not true. Instead, it is part of this intertwined and very invisible religion that is encompassing all of Chinese life, but that isn't recognized as religion by foreigners.
If you live in China for a while, you will notice how it works. People will be mad at you if you get down on your knees to tie your shoe strings; suddenly, you feel like you've come to the Middle East or something -- what happened to the rational Chinese?
You will also notice that even educated people go to fortune tellers and check if the birthdates of two lovers are a match. People who rarely go to monastaries can suddenly give money to a Buddhist and ask for advice.
Some modern religions also exist, like that of Amway; people follow the Holy Pyramid Scheme just like a Christian would observe the rites in church. It is truly entertaining watching how otherwise rational Chinese lose their heads when confronting this Amway business. It is like people are just waiting for something to guide to a better existence, and the Chinese easily bow to higher authorites (this is a Confucianist thing; the political tool that makes it possible at all to rule the Chinese like they were cows and not people).
Now, I myself am certainly an atheist. I don't have any beliefs at all. I believe only what I can observe and what I can deduct. I require proofs of everything, or at least a rational explanation. I don't bow to kings, and I don't bow to priests. I am a rationalist, a libertarian and a free human being. If you say God exists, then prove it. If you say that Santa Claus exists, the prove it. If you say that the flying spaghetti monster exists, then prove it. If the government claims something, then prove it. The burden of proof is all on you.
Spirituality is good; the systematization of spirituality is called religion, and is bad, because it aspires on power. Religion cannot and must not be part of a state, like in muslim countries, or like in Medieval Europe. Religion as a state power is theocracy, another form of collectivist authoritarianism, which is why Communism is also a religion -- it becomes greater than the people it was intended to serve; you can sacrifice individuals to preserve this religious order. You can control people by your own set of morals, enforcing it onto each and everyone (like wearing a buhrka or forbidding sexual relations outside marriage and similar).
This is obviously very bad, and nothing that modern man strives for. I wonder when China will join the ranks of modern nations?