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Saru

China struggles to ban superstition

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The process of banishing superstitious belief in China has proven to be more difficult than expected.

China is struggling to get its estimated 100 million religious believers to banish superstitious beliefs about things like sickness and death, the country's top religious affairs official told a state-run newspaper.

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Good luck with that...IMO it's not likely to happen.

Also, I personally think this is more about the Chinese Government exerting/maintaining control verses helping people to think 'correctly'.

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Good luck with that...IMO it's not likely to happen.

Also, I personally think this is more about the Chinese Government exerting/maintaining control verses helping people to think 'correctly'.

Coming soon to a Government near you!

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Why? There is a fair body of research that argues those who maintain a sense of spirituality deal more effectively with the psychological and physiological effects of stress. Granted there are extremists who subvert religion to manipulate social and political thought. But, by limiting the freedom to think and choose, is not the ruling party doing exactly the same thing?

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Why? There is a fair body of research that argues those who maintain a sense of spirituality deal more effectively with the psychological and physiological effects of stress. Granted there are extremists who subvert religion to manipulate social and political thought. But, by limiting the freedom to think and choose, is not the ruling party doing exactly the same thing?

This is the first I've heard of that, and I seriously doubt it or psychiatrists would be recommended tarot cards.

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You would have thought that after 60 years of Marxist cultural indoctrination superstition would have been subdued. Alas, that's far from the case. I think the worst aspect is the cruelty inflicted on animals. Whether it's magical tiger bones or turtle soup for longevity, it's all just so unnecessary. And of course "consumption of dog and cat meat is believed to help keep the body warm in winter cold. Others say dog meat promotes sweating in summer and helps the body offload heat". That quote is from digitaljournal.com I'm not linking to the specific page because of gory pictures of cat and dog meat being "processed".

Time to ditch the Daoist alchemical crap and join the 21st century.

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Frank, you have taken the extremist view, the one I cautioned against. I use the traditional definition of spirituality. And, do jump into google scholar, as a start, and check out the cited research regarding resiliency and stress or traumatic stress.

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I disagree; I think you are inventing stuff, and I don't want to waste time on a topic that doesn't interest me much anyway.

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Posted (edited)

Banning superstition is the first step to containing then finally eradicating the greatest mental disease in human psychology- organized religion. Once religion has been wiped out and no longer grips the brains of human sufferers in a choking, oppressive, chronic hold that prevents logical thinking and reasoning, hence leading to irrational violations of human rights laws, then we will finally be able to see over the currently-insurmountable, impenetrable wall of lies, fakery and deception that has pulled the vast majority of the human population into subservience for millenia.

Humans have time and again proven themselves unable to handle complete freedom in a civilised, non-violent, non-aggressive manner. When given complete freedom, they are bound to go astray, therefore the laws our justice systems have in place keep weak-willed, immoral people from furthering their evil agendas, subjugating other like-minded individuals into forced compliance.

How many countries (mine included) do you know where people are indoctrinated by the school, by the family and by the community such as peers, into the illogical thinking representative of organized religion- which stems directly and primarily from communal-based superstition? By educating the populace, superstition is effectively controlled, hence leading to a breakdown of organized religion through scientific reasoning and a proper understanding of the laws of Nature and of the world.

Organized religion is a mental crutch of ages long past that has no place in today's modernized society governed by the endlessly progressive pursuit of scientific achievements and technological breakthroughs. Read the news everyday. How many lives have been cruelly, mercilessly taken away by the members of organized religion and believers of superstition? If only they had been educated, taught to understand the absurdity of their false beliefs, would we then have seen the same crimes- the violations of human rights- that would have been committed had they not been given proper lesson instead?

I fully support China's government for being the flagbearer of our Atheist community. China will lead us into a glorious future utopia free of the dark ramblings and blabbery of organized religion, where we can then focus all our mental efforts and time (otherwise wasted through prayers) into pursuing knowledge that has not been tainted nor influenced by the falsities of superstition.

Edited by Ashiene
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A couple years ago my son saw some men catch a neighborhood cat with some bait and a net and then noose it cruelly. Uproar time. Once the neighborhood was alerted rocks and bricks were going at them from all directions and they barely got away. The poor cat is still alive, and now gets free handouts from everyone on the street.

Truckloads of cats caught like that in Vietnam on their way to China are every now and then intercepted and get into the papers. I guess the Chinese having done in all the cats in China are now importing them from elsewhere. Not just cats; awhile back I read about a truckload of cobras.

Vietnamese, especially those from the north, sometimes have dogmeat, but not someone's pet. They are raised for food the same way rabbits are. It is true, though, that you don't see stray dogs in HCMC the way you see stray cats. The poor here get them.

The Buddhist superstition here is to catch the local sparrows and sell them to temple visitors so the visitors can gain the karmic merit of freeing them. It's a teenager business. Of course the birds are use to it and appreciate the free meal.

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You would have thought that after 60 years of Marxist cultural indoctrination superstition would have been subdued. Alas, that's far from the case. I think the worst aspect is the cruelty inflicted on animals. Whether it's magical tiger bones or turtle soup for longevity, it's all just so unnecessary. And of course "consumption of dog and cat meat is believed to help keep the body warm in winter cold. Others say dog meat promotes sweating in summer and helps the body offload heat". That quote is from digitaljournal.com I'm not linking to the specific page because of gory pictures of cat and dog meat being "processed".

Time to ditch the Daoist alchemical crap and join the 21st century.

If they could only get them to stop killing endangered species because they have this notion it will help them live longer or be more virile.
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You can say alot for the Chinese govt for attempting this.... I do think its a good idea to promote science rather than have people throwing around fantasies about religion, and fighting about whose fairytale is the right one. I disagree with how the Chinese govt goes about suppressing these thoughts, but on a whole I think its a good idea.

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Posted (edited)

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

It has to come from within. Once people become educated about the real world and how it actually works then people will eventually realize that they do not need to erect shrines, temples or effigies nor do they need to crawl on their bellies like beaten dogs praying to rocks, foxes, snakes or whatever people give their power away to.

On the other hand one has to be watchful for just HOW the Chinese government plans to do this.

You won't gain anything by searching peoples homes for anything that speaks of 'superstition' either.

But in the course of doing this, wouldn't the culture suffer as well? You'd have to do away with mythologies/legends and any statues, paintings, drawings, etc of anything that is part of the superstition such as dragons, foo dogs, giant tortoises and so on.

In the end you cannot control what people think, they have to change the thinking on their own and at the barrel of a gun.

Edited by Ryu
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I disagree; I think you are inventing stuff, and I don't want to waste time on a topic that doesn't interest me much anyway.

Says the person who lived under a communist regime. He is correct however, studies have indicated people with strong spiritual beliefs do tend to be capable of maintaining a positive attitude better under stressful conditions than those who don't.

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I don't see where I live is relevant?

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China is barbaric whether religious or not, their treatment of animals is horrific! Sort that problem out first, killing animals in their billions, skinning and boiling animals alive, can't say that's very civilized or progressive...

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Lets force people how to think cause that always works out....

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Posted (edited)

Says the person who lived under a communist regime. He is correct however, studies have indicated people with strong spiritual beliefs do tend to be capable of maintaining a positive attitude better under stressful conditions than those who don't.

They do that by using a non-existent god as an excuse for everything, to push responsibility elsewhere instead of learning from their mistakes and accepting responsibility for themselves so that they can improve, instead of using their religion as a mental crutch. In my country, I hear people using the "This is God's Will" excuse all the time for when something goes wrong and so they blame it on their god.

Examples:

A toddler crawls out of the open window and falls to his death. Instead of blaming herself for being irresponsible by leaving the window open, the mother pushes the blame elsewhere and says: "This is God's Will." (that her toddler died this way, that it was his fate and she could not have done anything about it)

A man loses his son in a car accident. Instead of working with the police to find the culprit, he keeps telling the police: "This is God's Will" and refuses to co-operate. (believing that his son was meant to die this way, that it was his fate and he could not have done anything about it)

These are all real incidents reported in the newspapers in my country over the years. I just picked these examples to show how religion is a mental crutch and stunts personal, mental growth.

Edited by Ashiene
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When they close down the bear bile and tiger farms then I'll think they are on the right track. Otherwise they are just p***ing in the wind. The more you try to force what people think, the more they will hang on to their beliefs even if deep down they know it is BS.

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Lets force people how to think cause that always works out....

That's the whole point of the article. After years of suppression and a murderous 10 year period of cultural revolution whose, "stated goal was to enforce communism in the country by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society" superstition remains just as popular.

Too bad they can't just distill all the useful philosophical bits out of Taoism and Confucianism and give up the alchemy and voodoo.

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Posted (edited)

Once again, I would encourage people to approach the research in an unbiased manner. Good research is based on methods, results, and limitations that are clearly defined, generalizable to a defined population, and repeatable, that is, the research encompasses both validity and reliability. To debate research is healthy. But to negate the research due to personal biases, all-or-nothing thinking, or jumping to conclusions, ultimately erodes us of the opportunity to be empathetic, that is to be critical thinkers, and to be able to put things into perspective without "catastrophizing" nor minimizing.

Edited by highdesert50
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There might be some very questionable superstitions, like those that involve sacrficing and even torturing living beings. I think that no sane person would be able to do that to their pet, but the fact of the world is that what we eat was formerly alive and it was killed for us. Westerners throw away a lot of food and overeat, how is this exactly different? Saying "I didn't mean to, it just happened" doesn't help much. Respecting life through destroying it might sound very absurd, but is ignoring you destroy it more or less absurd?

My point is, even sacrifices might have some thought behind them, but it does sound like people use the sacrificing rite to clear away their own problems instead of doing it for some greater good. Sacrificing living beings because you believe that brings luck in lovelife or stock market or makes you feel more at ease... that's wrong, and it may seem to help only because of the possible placebo effect that's there, placebo that can heighten when you have stronger foundations for your beliefs. Whether those beliefs are true to their core or not, is another matter.

That said, I dont think that simply banning blindly helps much, because people do these things to improve their lives, whether it's their spiritual, emotional or more mundane life. To me it just tells there's a vacuum for improvements in there, and that you should first find and ground new ways of improving your life and finding ways to believe in this world. If you're not allowed to think this and that, you seek mental, identity-independence and "your (cultural) way" elsewhere. Suppressing more only creates more behavior that's out of place.

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China is barbaric whether religious or not, their treatment of animals is horrific! Sort that problem out first, killing animals in their billions, skinning and boiling animals alive, can't say that's very civilized or progressive...

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.

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And they say that atheists don't congregate and try to exercise control over the populace.

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China has been exporting its religions and values for years! Who hasn't seen a movie full of Chinese actors/actresses fighting Kung Fu and teaching us there religion? Millions of dollars in cash flow to there people because of these movies. They should follow the values they export, and let there people freely choose.

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