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Most of the Chinese I know
Are true agnostics. We openly laugh at the lame brained and their giving themselves up (literally) to established religion. Yes, we do burn a cord or two of incense before our ancestors' shrines in the back of the flat come the first and the 15th of the lunar calendar, but more out of respect than a belief in the afterlife. Yes, we burn offerings of paper marche cars and suits and currency at the obligatory grave visits (and more recently the offering include 2nd wives and cell phones, but that's another story), but again that is not so much because of a true belief in the afterlife. It is more out of respect, and more like earthquake insurance - "you are sure it won't happen to you, but why risk it " sort of thinking. |
There is a Chinese saying "a person dying is like a light going out." The imagery, mind you, is not that of a modern electirc light, but more likely that of an oil lamp. The light goes out, the smoke swirls for a little while (as your descendants remember you for a little bit), and then all that's left are the half inch of ashes on that burnt out wig. That's about it.
Hell and heaven? Those are cruel hoaxes used by charlatans to trick the gullible out of gold in this lifetime. Established religion, in the collective history of human kind, has done much more evil than good.