Strange how mankind seems to be hard wired to myth and superstion let alone when this is organised for him into theism by some form of central authority usually cultural/political. It is more than just cognitive dissonance or lack of education/child brainwashing. So since Asian part of mankind how come escaped?
Bhudda also warned of casting whatever he said in concrete ying-yang and all that the opposite is delirium root of all fancy?
The orient DIDN'T escape. The native Japanese religion is Shinto, which worships the sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, as well as a host of other gods. I don't know as much about other parts of Asia, except that some sects DO worship Buddha as a god. And you can bet that there were native animist religions everywhere before Buddhism, and other religions do exist alongside it. The fact that the most basic form of Buddhism does not have a god may be exactly why places like Korea and Viet-nam and China were such ripe picking grounds for Christian missionaries (although Communism wiped out much of Christianity in China). And there are plenty of Muslims in China, too.
And if you include places like India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan in Asia, then there is ample evidence of theism, including Hinduism and Islam.
So, no, Asia did not escape at all.
Also, a lot of Oriental cultures developed into ruler worship. Up until recently, the Japanese emperors were considered living gods and worshiped as such.
Thanks for your input it is food for thought....
This seems a step up from out-right theism as "we create God" in tune with Jung's collective unconcious if it is inherantly felt by the Japanese? Is it possible this huge collectivity in men's unconscious easily and blindly gets transposed into a huge axiom? Anyway an emporor at least more related than the big 3 (C J I )
Good point, but it isnt a purely eastern phenomenon:
The Roman senate was required to debate, on the death of an Emperor, whether the Emperor was a god (or not).
The Egyptian Pharoes (Especially the early Dynasties) also claimed to be Gods.
Natalie, that sounds right. Did you have opportunity to live there or know someone? I'd love to learn your story.
Yup, I lived in Japan for 2 1/2 years, and had plenty of opportunities to observe Buddhism and Shinto. And in my previous post, I didn't remember to include the fact that before WWII, emperors were considered gods. One of the requirements of the US govt. in writing the peace treaty with Japan was that Emperor Hirohito publicly renounce his god status. Which he did, and I think that was a wise act on his part. What many people don't know is that the emperor in Japan was cloistered for centuries (still fairly cloistered, but not as much as previously), and the govt. was actually in the hands of a military junta at the time of WWII. Hirohito really didn't have much to do with the decisions made before and during WWII, but he took a lot of the blame. What is interesting is that the Japanese people mostly accepted Hirohito's change in status, although at the time I was there (68-72, with a break in between) the elderly people refused to stop worshipping him, but they did it privately, so as not to create friction in their families or in public.
I think the desire for a god to take care of us is a universal need in people who don't have the mental ability or the emotional strength to accept otherwise.
And the other thing I want to note is that religion in Japan is much like religion among the Jews: it's just a part of the way people live, and belief or non-belief is not the central issue. There is no pressure to confess or profess; you just do the rituals, and nobody questions you. In Israel and in Japan, there are large groups who, if you asked them why they do it, would have no answer, even though there are others who are very observant and know exactly what their holy books say and can discuss it with you in detail.
And to answer a post above, there is NO big THREE, because Judaism is in no way big -- the major players in the religion game are Christianity and Islam, because both of them are proselytizing religions, and really do feel that everyone in the world should follow their beliefs. Judaism does not fit that description; it's neither big in numbers, nor does it practice proselytization in ANY way -- proselytization is expressly forbidden. Which is why I, as a cultural and ethnic Jew, really resent the grouping of Judaism with Christianity or Islam.
Oops sorry about lumping in Judasim. I got a lot of respect for Jews as people irrelevant of what they profess.
I agree whole-heartedly. I grew up in Miami Beach back when, and my friends and family are Ashkenazim. Most American Jews are secular (it's an ethnicity). Fewer than 10% are Orthodox, though they wield a bit more power than their numbers - in the US and in Israel.
Christians love the phrase "Judeo-Christian tradition." It implies that their bigotry and anti-intellectualism is broad-based if not universal. Don't let them get away with it!
Soulful people who've contributed so much to the arts and science.
Thank you, Phil! As a minority, we were forced to learn quite a bit about Christianity and Christian philosophy, but I find that Christians and the Christian-raised know next to nothing about Judaism and Jews, except for what they infer from THEIR translations of the Tanakh. And they make assumptions based on their ignorance, not even knowing that they are ignorant. My brother and I may not believe in a god, but both of us are definitely Jewish -- our morals and ethics are definitely influenced by the way we were raised, even though we don't attribute them to god.