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China struggles to ban superstition


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#31    Mr Walker

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 26 April 2013 - 09:55 AM, said:

I fully agree, but think the aspects of any society that degrade minorities and women and gays and the handicapped and the poor need to be addressed as the first priority.  Here, Chinese society is doing a lot better than many others.
Except of course in the case of the unborn humans. :devil:  ANd i am not really sure that regulating things on the basis of political philosophy is any better than allowing freedom of belief and thus attitudes. for example if women are given eqaul rights because the govt enforces this, but the people do not believe in it, will the outcomes be  as good as where the women win  equality because their society as a whole agrees to give it to them.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#32    Bavarian Raven

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:45 PM

Quote

The problem is that eliminating toxic religions (which is ALL of them) is that it cannot really be done from the outside.

You're wrong - not ALL of them are. ;)


#33    Mr Walker

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:41 AM

View PostBavarian Raven, on 15 May 2013 - 01:45 PM, said:

You're wrong - not ALL of them are. ;)
Indeed. Religions evolve from human needs and the way we think. A religion should offer benefits (both physical and psychological/emotional) to individuals and societies, and almost all religions do this. It is why religions endure for so long. Because they fulfill an important human need or needs.

Religions are accounted toxic by those who disagree with or are disadvantaged by the codes and expectations of religion, but most human beings simply cannot live without a spiritual element, and these elements are generally codified into sets of beliefs and rituals which we know as religions, for the purpose of human socialisation and community..

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#34    redhen

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 02:36 AM

Just to balance things out a bit. Here's a recent news story on Rhino horns being bought for huge sums of money in Vietnam. Allegedly it cures cancer and hangovers.

Rhino horns are so prized that they are being stolen from museums.

Frank can you give us any insights on this?

All I can say is metta.


#35    Mr Walker

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:27 AM

View Postredhen, on 16 May 2013 - 02:36 AM, said:

Just to balance things out a bit. Here's a recent news story on Rhino horns being bought for huge sums of money in Vietnam. Allegedly it cures cancer and hangovers.

Rhino horns are so prized that they are being stolen from museums.

Frank can you give us any insights on this?

All I can say is metta.

One feels sorry for the rhinos of course, but man o man that rhino horn is the ultimate aphrodisiac. A pinch of it mixed with ginseng and that tibetan fungus, and a ninety year old bloke can service 6 nubile young women in one night (before dropping dead of a heart attack)  No wonder rhinos are  at risk of extinction,  especially the black rhino, whose horn naturally gives even greater sexual stamina.

How did I go? Is there any group i managed NOT to offend? I think I managed ageist, sexist and racist, along with all animal rights groups..

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#36    redhen

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:35 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 16 May 2013 - 10:27 AM, said:

How did I go? Is there any group i managed NOT to offend? I think I managed ageist, sexist and racist, along with all animal rights groups..

Yup, the poaching group, the rhino horn consumer group, and the governments that turn a blind eye.


#37    Frank Merton

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:15 PM

View Postredhen, on 16 May 2013 - 02:36 AM, said:

Just to balance things out a bit. Here's a recent news story on Rhino horns being bought for huge sums of money in Vietnam. Allegedly it cures cancer and hangovers.

Rhino horns are so prized that they are being stolen from museums.

Frank can you give us any insights on this?

All I can say is metta.
It's a stupid superstition and I wish the government here would do more about it beyond just denouncing it in the schools.


#38    Frank Merton

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:32 PM

There is a good deal of freedom of religion in Vietnam for the older groups, such as of course the five Buddhists sects and the Roman Catholics.  Caodaism, in spite of its militaristic anti-Communist history, is now tolerated albeit not allowed to proselytize.   Other religions present in the big cities are standard Protestants, Jews, Hindus and even a few Muslims.  You see very little of what could be called "atheist" propaganda -- in fact the media tends to take a position of general approval of the good things in religions and not mention atheism.  Foreign missionaries have a hard time of it.

Things that fall under the category "superstition," rather than religion are more strongly discouraged by the police, but you can find fortunetellers here pretty much as readily as anywhere, except for medical quackery, which is not tolerated (Chinese traditional practices, though, are, provided the practitioner defers regularly to Western medicine).

Ghosts are a regular part of life, and the real estate agent who doesn't quickly suppress a rumor of a haunting will see value catapult.  The other aspects of western occultism are rarely seen (except of course that Caodaism is readily traced to 19th century European Spiritualism).

A message above mentioned that abortion is readily available in Vietnam  This is true and is seen by most as a fundamental freedom.  Abortions are not subsidized (most medical treatments are) and the couple (or at least the woman) is generally obliged to go through a short contraception course so that unwanted pregnancies will not happen in future.  The birth rate has plummeted along with the rest of Asia and family sizes are now typically only one or two children.


#39    Frank Merton

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:38 PM

I think it might be good here to mention that there exists an active anti-government propaganda coming out of mainly southern California among Roman Catholic Vietnamese who are still fighting the American War.  A lot of the stories about the Vietnamese corruption, sex trade and animal poaching originates in their misinformation.  Vietnamese society has these and other problems, but not to the scale of most developing nations, and I see as much corruption in Europe and even in the States as I do in Vietnam.


#40    redhen

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 24 May 2013 - 12:15 PM, said:

It's a stupid superstition and I wish the government here would do more about it beyond just denouncing it in the schools.

I'm sure they could. They could levy fines or ban these products all together. Several North American cities have passed by-laws banning shark fins for example. "Chinese culture has lauded shark fins alleged properties to boost sexual potency, enhance skin quality, increase one's qi or energy, prevent heart disease, and lower cholesterol"

Shark fin is just tasteless cartilage. But like other animal products, because it is exotic, traditional and requires elaborate preparation, it is highly valued, and an increasing number of Chinese can now afford to show off their conspicuous consumption.

How bourgeois ! Money changes everything I guess.


#41    Frank Merton

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:52 PM

I'm aware of a truckload of cobras that was confiscated recently, so I think the government does routinely confiscate products of this sort, as do most governments by international treaty.  There has been a considerable crackdown in HCMC recently on the dognapping business (dogs are part of the menu of many Vietnamese, especially those of Chinese descent, but they are supposed to be only animals raised for the purpose). I must admit I was unaware of the rhino trade, and with afterthought begin to suspect it may have been considerably exaggerated.  However, the idea of the usefulness of such products in medicine is roundly denounced as superstition in the High School curriculum.

World culture and attitudes are moving in much the same direction regarding the environment, and this has not passed over here.   The same thing applies to cultural attitudes.


#42    Mr Walker

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 11:07 PM

My mistake, frank. I read "here chinese society" and commented on life in china, where abortion is a state policy and even girl children are regularly killed. While personally oposed to abortion as a basic womans right because it negates another's human right, I support free and legal abortion  because the alternative is too horrible. However I think philosophically the right of a child to life supercedes the right of a mother to terminate that child just because she doesnt want it and tha this philosophy should be promoted and taught.. On the other hand I am a supporter of full and frank sex education to pre pubescent children and to the  availability of contraceptives to all people regardless of age or gender.
My point was about govt social policy in china not vietnam.

Edited by Mr Walker, 25 May 2013 - 11:09 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#43    Mr Walker

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 11:14 PM

Unless an animal is endangered, I do not have a problem with using animal products, and hence the  killing of animals. I am almost a vegetarian for health and ecological reasons, and i suport the ethical treatment of animals to prevent suffering and cruelty, but the concept of simply not killing other animals, ever, is a human mental construct with no real logical basis  and doesn't make sense to me.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.




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