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Posted by: koriwhore ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 07:12PM

I just watched a great Netflix series, "Genius of the Ancient World, Confuscious, Buddha and Socrates"

"The planet is in trouble. We have in our power the destruction of not just civilization, but of the planet itself. So a change has to be made. Not just a change in the political or economic system. Although these are absolutely necessary. But a change of a mindset. And a retrieval of the wisdom of Socrates, Buddha and Confuscious. It's not a question of relevance, but a matter of survival."

https://www.netflix.com/watch/80185710?trackId=200257859

It talks alot about the Confucian concept of 'Ren', (Chinese: “humanity,” “humaneness,” “goodness,” “benevolence,” or “love”) the foundational virtue of Confucianism. It characterizes the bearing and behavior that a paradigmatic human being exhibits in order to promote a flourishing human community.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/ren

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 07:41PM

Confucianism is the basis of East Asian civilization, and something I greatly admire in the main. There are a few parts which are ridiculous, as in all these things, but it is something we could learn from in the west.

Sadly of course, the Communist tyrant Mao Tse-Tung undermined many of the Confucian values which underpinned Chinese civilization, resulting in many of their present day social problems.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 07:42PM

What are the ridiculous parts of Confucianism?

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Posted by: koriwhore ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 11:59PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What are the ridiculous parts of Confucianism?

I am curious too, what's so ridiculous about Confucianism?

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 04:43AM

koriwhore Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lot's Wife Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > What are the ridiculous parts of Confucianism?
>
> I am curious too, what's so ridiculous about
> Confucianism?

Straight to the negative part, eh? I actually LIKE Confucianism in the main and called it a civilizing influence.

If you want the short version, it is that it forms a complex system of rules and such things are liable to become hidebound or overinterpreted. (Something one sees in Mormonism a lot).

But as I said. I LIKE Confucianism and think we could learn from it.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 11:02AM

What is that complex set of rules?

And what could we learn from Confucianism?

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 02:10PM

You want me to write a short message about something which has taken people centuries to study, and has had libraries written about it.

One of the things we can learn is care for the elderly. We prefer to hand them over to strangers, instead of repaying them for looking after us for until adulthood.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 02:13PM

You have a way of speaking in generalities without supporting evidence. It makes it difficult to reply in a meaningful way.

You say some of Confucianism is "ridiculous. I ask you what you mean, and you don't answer that question. Instead you write that Confucianism is a "complex set of rules." I ask what you are referring to and again you refuse to provide a substantial reply. When you bring up a single idea--filial piety--it happens to be something that is common to all major Asian (and African) traditions and hence not particularly enlightening about Confucianism.

What Wally Prince wrote below is a great example of what would be nice to see. It makes engagement possible.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2019 02:17PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: koriwhore ( )
Date: May 15, 2019 07:50PM

Jordan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Confucianism is the basis of East Asian
> civilization, and something I greatly admire in
> the main. There are a few parts which are
> ridiculous, as in all these things, but it is
> something we could learn from in the west.
>
> Sadly of course, the Communist tyrant Mao Tse-Tung
> undermined many of the Confucian values which
> underpinned Chinese civilization, resulting in
> many of their present day social problems.

They covered that in the documentary. The Cultural Revolution was opposed to Confucianism, and education in general, outside of Communism, but Confucianism is now experiencing a Renaissance in China. There are thousands of Confucian schools there today.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 12:45AM

A couple of observations.

The Communist campaign against "specialists" was a reprise of Taoism. In antiquity, Confucians (Kongzi and Mengzi) advocated education as a way of teaching people how to behave ethically and order society appropriately. The Taoists (Laozi and Zhuangzi) contended that the key to harmony lay within and that education drove people away from the truly moral life. The Maoist struggle used words that derived almost directly from Taoism: "specialists" were society's enemy and "reds," meaning the ideologically pure, were its potential saviors.

Regarding the resurgence of Confucianism in modern China, I think that needs to be viewed with some skepticism. In the first place, Confucianism was primarily a state philosophy: Kongzi had no interest in teaching anyone but kings. By contrast, none of today's Chinese leaders has any interest in Confucian methods and objectives. They are much closer to Sunzi, who is rightfully compared with Machiavelli.

In broader society as well, Confucianism is more a curiosity than a movement. Sure, people are sick of living in chaos and looking for something more--recall Falun Gong--but there are precious few who are willing to abandon China's current religion which, in Deng Xiaoping's immortal words, is "to get rich is glorious."

Today's China is an extremely worldly place.

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Posted by: Oakland guy ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 03:35AM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A couple of observations.
>
> The Communist campaign against "specialists" was a
> reprise of Taoism. In antiquity, Confucians
> (Kongzi and Mengzi) advocated education as a way
> of teaching people how to behave ethically and
> order society appropriately. The Taoists (Laozi
> and Zhuangzi) contended that the key to harmony
> lay within and that education drove people away
> from the truly moral life. The Maoist struggle
> used words that derived almost directly from
> Taoism: "specialists" were society's enemy and
> "reds," meaning the ideologically pure, were its
> potential saviors.
>
> Regarding the resurgence of Confucianism in modern
> China, I think that needs to be viewed with some
> skepticism. In the first place, Confucianism was
> primarily a state philosophy: Kongzi had no
> interest in teaching anyone but kings. By
> contrast, none of today's Chinese leaders has any
> interest in Confucian methods and objectives.
> They are much closer to Sunzi, who is rightfully
> compared with Machiavelli.
>
> In broader society as well, Confucianism is more a
> curiosity than a movement. Sure, people are sick
> of living in chaos and looking for something
> more--recall Falun Gong--but there are precious
> few who are willing to abandon China's current
> religion which, in Deng Xiaoping's immortal words,
> is "to get rich is glorious."
>
> Today's China is an extremely worldly place.

Having spent a lot of time with people from mainland China my observation would be remnants of Confucianism and Buddhism are ingrained in the culture and family relationships. Probably the lack of institutionalization and structure of beliefs systems in China may give the impression that they no longer have a great influence on Chinese culture which is not the case. While most Chinese probably don’t identify as Buddhist if you start asking them about their beliefs they tend to be agnostic or believe in things like reincarnation and karma without identifying as a Buddhist. While no one in modern China is going to identify as a follower of Confucius if you examine their family relationships, it’s obvious that it is steeped in Confucianism. I think a lot of these beliefs are just an implicit part of Chinese culture.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 04:15AM

Oakland guy Wrote:

> Having spent a lot of time with people from
> mainland China my observation would be remnants of
> Confucianism and Buddhism are ingrained in the
> culture and family relationships.

I agree that some of the traits remain strong in family relationships in particular. I do not, however, think those stem from Confucianism and Buddhism. You'll recall, for instance, that ancestor worship, filial piety, etc., have been elements of Chinese culture from the Autumn and Spring Period which is at least 500 years earlier than Confucius and a 1,000 years earlier than Buddhism's entry into the region. In the Analects, Confucius quotes those much earlier sources and claims he wants to restore the old order. So my view is that many of the values you describe are in fact more basic than Confucianism and that one of the reasons Buddhism fared so well in China was that elements of it conformed to those earlier patterns.

The exceptions are also instructive. Buddhism in India is fairly critical of ancestor worship, a practice and system of thought that became prominent in China and Japan and Korea and Indochina despite the Indian approach. Why? Because they were features of East Asian culture so deeply entrenched that Buddhism had to adapt to them, which such a doctrinally flexible religion could do.

The other part of the story is of course economics. In a country with virtually no pension system and minimal healthcare for the elderly, the family is the welfare system. So everyone, including the Communists, wanted those family values to persist despite the tsunamis of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. As the chaos of the high growth period ensued, the government re-emphasized those values in order to reinforce social stability. So the societal importance of filial piety was recognized and respected from before Confucius all the way through the present.


-----------------
> Probably the
> lack of institutionalization and structure of
> beliefs systems in China may give the impression
> that they no longer have a great influence on
> Chinese culture which is not the case.

Again, those traits may be earlier and stronger than Confucianism and Buddhism. The traditions had an influence, to be sure, but many of the cultural and familial patterns do not depend (wholly) for their vitality on the religions.


-------------
> While most
> Chinese probably don’t identify as Buddhist if
> you start asking them about their beliefs they
> tend to be agnostic or believe in things like
> reincarnation and karma without identifying as a
> Buddhist.

Our experiences may differ somewhat, but my interactions incline me to think that agnosticism, or unarticulated insouciance, is the strongest tendency in modern China. I guess if you really pushed, agnostic Chinese might speak of reincarnation and even karma the same way that pragmatic and worldly Europeans and Americans (and progressive Moslems) would say, "sure, I believe in God, I guess. . ." Does that mean they are even remotely Buddhist or Christian? Not necessarily. It could mean that they just don't feel impelled to embrace atheism and instead fall back on old cultural norms instead.

It's like when a missionary knocks on a Japanese door and the homeowner says, "not interested. We're Buddhists." Are they really Buddhists? No. They just want to be left alone.


----------
> While no one in modern China is going to
> identify as a follower of Confucius if you
> examine their family relationships, it’s obvious
> that it is steeped in Confucianism. I think a lot
> of these beliefs are just an implicit part of
> Chinese culture.

Your penultimate and final sentences are not necessarily convergent. It is entirely possible that the family relationships are cultural but NOT Confucian. Confucius himself (and Mencius) documents the fact that those relationships are far earlier, far more indigenously Chinese, than his system of thought.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 05:35AM

Is this also going to be on the final exam?

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 01:56PM

Yes, but in Southern California I'm told you can hire private proctors to ensure that your test score is high. For an additional fee you can be recruited as an athlete and get preferential treatment by the admissions office.

So don't worry. You'll get into USC even if the SAT questions are challenging.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 02:19PM

I'm a shoe-in for the Mexican Hat Dance equipo, on my own demerits!

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 08:47PM

I have visions of you as coxswain on the USC heavyweight crew team, cursing at the rowers as your boat speeds through the water and your goatee floats in the wind.

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Posted by: Wally Prince ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 03:24AM

And like most philosophies it has both strengths and weaknesses.

It emphasizes hierarchical relationships. It's not about equality. Far from it. It's literally of key importance to "know your place" in society and behave accordingly.

Social rituals are followed to reinforce "correct" understanding of social position and rank.

Key relationships are always defined in superior-subordinate (inferior) terms.

Neo-Confucianism intensified the Confucian emphasis on "correct" hierarchy in ordering society.

Three commandments:

(1) The subject must serve the ruler.
(2) The wife must serve the husband.
(3) The child must serve the parent.

The five moral imperatives:

(1) Between parent and child, there must be closeness.
(2) Between ruler and subject, there must be justice.
(3) Between husband and wife, there must be distinction.
(4) Between old and young, there must be order.
(5) Between friends, there must be trust.

In the philosophy, the superior-inferior relationships are tempered by a moral obligation of the superior to act responsibly and justly toward the inferior.

In practice, once a society organized along Confucian/Neo-Confucian principles gets into full swing, the gap between superior and subordinate often becomes so great that the superior essentially becomes judge, jury and executioner in determining whether each side of the equation has behaved properly. Of course if the "superior" gets too far out of line and behave too abusively, they risk facing severe pushback, either from the abused or from their superiors (particularly if their superiors become concerned about potential risks to the hierarchical system as a whole if it is in danger of losing legitimacy).

In practice, at universities (and virtually all types of institutions) it can also be seen that seniors have wide latitude to abuse, speak down to and humiliate juniors. Juniors put up with it because they know that they will get their turn to do the same to their juniors. (Compared to western academic institutions, the senior-junior relationship is serious business.)

Heads of institutions are often given the same type of deference that Mormon prophets get from TBMs. Employees at even relatively small companies or colleges will often all stand when the president enters the room and wait for the president to sit down before sitting down themselves.

With increasing exposure to the west, many of the Neo-Confucian extremes in hierarchical relationships (in Japan, Korea, Taiwan) have dramatically softened in the past 2 or 3 decades. But there's still enough there in places to sometimes shock the sensibilities of westerners.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 12:09PM

That's a good summary.

In China Confucianism didn't get very far. It was an elite philosophy/religion and never penetrated into society much; the principles you describe were broader than just Confucianism. When the country was unified, it was done through Legalism (Hanfeizi) rather than Confucianism. The truth is that Legalism is more accurately the ideology of traditional China.

Neo-Confucianism is more strictly rule based, and it was adopted and implemented more seriously in Japan and Korea, as you note, than China proper. It was also a state ideology rather than a popular one.

So in ancient China Confucianism was the court philosophy while the people were much closer to ancestor worship and folk superstition. When Buddhism entered, it became the common religion while the state continued Legalistic/Confucian. In Japan and Korea something similar happened. Neo-Confucianism was the state ideology, the ideals for government and relationships between government officials while popular religion was some mixture of ancestor worship and folk superstition until Buddhism blended with/displaced the other forms of popular belief.

So your summary is very good. But it would be wrong to assume that much of Confucianism reached far down into any of the societies you are discussing. There were elements of folk tradition that antedated Confucianism but overlapped with it, and those were if anything reinforced by the ideology, but there were also areas of the ideology that never penetrated anywhere near as deeply as, for instance, Buddhism.

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 02:48PM

You're regurgitating what you've read elsewhere, which is good as it proves you have read something. (You pretended above you hadn't - your views can be so contradictory sometimes).

Personally, I think Confucianism penetrated further than Buddhism did. Chinese Buddhism appears to owes just as much to Taoism (although it maintains a fierce rivalry with it) as to the Subcontinent. Buddhism can be a bit ethereal and religious, C'ism is more secular despite being termed a religion in the west. It is more concrete and deals with relations of society. The peasants rarely grasped true Buddhism, although a handful did, which is indicated by their beliefs in the afterlife and demons; even they did partake in the etiquette system to some degree. Such is the antisyzygy of traditional Chinese culture

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 03:15PM

Jordan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You're regurgitating what you've read elsewhere,
> which is good as it proves you have read
> something. (You pretended above you hadn't - your
> views can be so contradictory sometimes).

I didn't contradict myself. I know that I understand Confucianism (and Taoism and Buddhism); I am much less certain that you do. It's a bit like the discussion of "race." It took a while to get you to state what you actually believe, and then it was immediately evident that you weren't familiar with the meaning of the term. I think in general you'll find that people want some indication that you have a grasp of a subject before delving deeply into it with you.


--------------
> Personally, I think Confucianism penetrated
> further than Buddhism did.

Refer us to a single expert who supports this view, which is false.


--------------
> Chinese Buddhism
> appears to owes just as much to Taoism (although
> it maintains a fierce rivalry with it) as to the
> Subcontinent.

You speak of Taoism in the present tense, as if it still exists and is capable of contending with Buddhism. That is of course false. Buddhism almost universally supplanted Taoism nearly two millennia ago, which is why Taojia transformed into magical Taojiao. You know the difference between those two words?

And frankly, the present tense doesn't really apply to Chinese Buddhism either. There is next to nothing left of Buddhism in China today, and there is no contest between it and Taoism.


-----------
> Buddhism can be a bit ethereal and
> religious, C'ism is more secular despite being
> termed a religion in the west.
> It is more concrete
> and deals with relations of society.

Precisely. Confucianism is so secular, so devoid of emotional appeal, that it never penetrated popular society. Taoism was almost as bad because it had no concept of God or the afterlife, which people desperately wanted. The reason Buddhism did so well was it appealed to people's emotional needs and promised an afterlife.


-------------------
> The peasants
> rarely grasped true Buddhism, although a handful
> did, which is indicated by their beliefs in the
> afterlife and demons.

I'm not sure people anywhere really grasp the true nature of any religion. With regard to China, Buddhism was much easier to understand than Taoism, which is why it supplanted the latter so thoroughly. As for demons, those were an omnipresent element of Chinese folk religion and did not come from Buddhism.


-----------
> even they did partake in the
> etiquette system to some degree. Such is the
> antisyzygy of traditional Chinese culture

Buddhist etiquette? What is that?

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 03:47PM

> Buddhist etiquette? What is that?

It's when you don't read very closely, so you don't realize that the etiquette referred to was Confucian not Buddhist.

>As for demons, those were an omnipresent element of Chinese folk religion and did not come from Buddhism.

Erm, that was my point. The attitude towards them is un-Buddhist in some senses. The story of Buddha's encounter with Mara (which makes for a good comparison with Satan tempting Jesus), has him treating Mara (the Satanesque figure) as more of a nuisance than a threat. In contrast Chinese folk demons are dangerous boogeymen.

> Refer us to a single expert who supports this view, which is false.

The word "personally" refers to someone's personal view. I do not consider this to be false otherwise I would not say it, but then again I am not merely recycling whatever I read in "Chinese Culture for Dummies TM" and "The Beginner's Guide to Chinese Syncretic Religious Traditions". Your idea that C'ism did not penetrate to or influence the lowest levels of society is in fact false since all people were governed by the Confucian system (prior to their society being subverted by middle class Marxists), and acted within its bounds.

> And frankly, the present tense doesn't really apply to Chinese Buddhism either. There is next to nothing left of Buddhism in China today, and there is no contest between it and Taoism.

Now that truly is false. It is nowhere near as strong as it was, and many of its formal structures have been broken down thanks to Communistic vandalism and westernization, but I wouldn't say "there is next to nothing" left. Like many such systems, it still informs Chinese culture, much in the way Christianity still influences supposed atheists in the west.

There are also Chinese emigré communities outside the PRC who have maintained Chinese Buddhism to some extent. And Taiwan. And Hong Kong (which never suffered the full onslaught of the Cultural Revolution where the various groups of society were set against each other in a kind of reculer pour mieux santer to strengthen the Communist dictatorship.)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 06:54PM

This is rich.

-------------------------------------------------------

> It's when you don't read very closely, so you
> don't realize that the etiquette referred to was
> Confucian not Buddhist.

Really? I misread it? Your sentence is

"The peasants rarely grasped true Buddhism, although a handful did, which is indicated by their beliefs in the afterlife and demons; even they did partake in the etiquette system to some degree."

The topic of that sentence is Buddhism, not Confucianism. For you to claim that I should have known you were speaking about Confucianism is silly.


-----------------
Then you write that I misunderstood a second part of that sentence. As you put it, your point was that the Chinese gods came from folk religion and not Buddhism.

But the clause about the gods structurally modifies the Buddhist cognoscenti. How can people understand your points if you don't offer them with the correct grammar?


--------------
> but then again I am not merely
> recycling whatever I read in "Chinese Culture for
> Dummies TM" and "The Beginner's Guide to Chinese
> Syncretic Religious Traditions".

You believe you understand Chinese religion better than I. Amusing.


---------------
> Your idea that
> C'ism did not penetrate to or influence the lowest
> levels of society is in fact false since all
> people were governed by the Confucian system
> (prior to their society being subverted by middle
> class Marxists), and acted within its bounds.

And you got that notion of the penetration of Chinese society from whom? Arthur Waley? Tu Wei-ming? And which Confucianism are you describing? That of Kongzi and Mengzi or the version found in the Daxue or the Zhongyong ZhiDao? And why do you discount Hanfeizi in your discussion of traditional Chinese governance?

Set me straight here.


------------
Next you take issue with my statement that little is left of Chinese Buddhism or Taoism. In your words. . .

> Now that truly is false. It is nowhere near as
> strong as it was, and many of its formal
> structures have been broken down thanks to
> Communistic vandalism and westernization, but I
> wouldn't say "there is next to nothing" left. Like
> many such systems, it still informs Chinese
> culture, much in the way Christianity still
> influences supposed atheists in the west.

Do you not realize that contemporary Chinese Buddhism is so marginal today that it is considered a subset of folk religion?*

And then there is the perspective from Singapore, which shares the general concern about "the appalling state of Buddhist institutions throughout [China], a decline that continues today as the centuries-old tradition is dogged by corruption scandals and a dearth of internationally recognised spiritual leaders."**


-----------------
> There are also Chinese emigré communities outside
> the PRC who have maintained Chinese Buddhism to
> some extent. And Taiwan. And Hong Kong (which
> never suffered the full onslaught of the Cultural
> Revolution where the various groups of society
> were set against each other in a kind of reculer
> pour mieux santer to strengthen the Communist
> dictatorship.)

This is an interesting paragraph. In the first place, we were discussing China and not Taiwan and/or Hong Kong. In the second, Taiwan is one of the two best cases of a government imposing Confucianism on society due to the KMT's efforts to assert its legitimacy as the proper government of China. It thus represents one of the exceptional cases that support your generalization about Confucian social penetration. Yet now you contradictorily cite Taiwan as an example of a society that preserved Buddhism?

The other case of significant penetration is Singapore, where Lee Kuan Yew used it as an organizing principle when engineering the city state's separation from Malaya. You know that, right? Then why didn't you mention it as a bastion of Confucian thought?

But the gift keeps on giving. You note that Hong Kong "never suffered the full onslaught of the Cultural Revolution." That is an understatement, for Hong Kong didn't suffer ANY onslaught of the Cultural Revolution. Because, you know, it was a different country and all.




*https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/religion-china#chapter-title-0-4

**https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/2165088/decline-and-fall-chinese-buddhism-how-modern-politics-and-fast

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 08:37PM

Wow.
I had no idea you had such in depth knowledge of Confuscism.
I love the conversation about all of this and I have a lot to learn from both of you.
Thanks for engaging.
I can see here why I butted heads with you in the past and I appologize for any disrespect I gave you before.
I respect your knowledge and insight even though we might still have differences, thats a good thing.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 08:47PM

No worries at all, Kori. I enjoy our arguments, respect your passion, and have learned from you on many occasions.

I do love the world of ideas and religions, those mixtures of history and philosophy and psychology and myth. Indian and Chinese thought are areas that particularly fascinate me.

We share many interests.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2019 10:16PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 09:54AM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> This is an interesting paragraph. It thus represents one of the
> exceptional cases that support your generalization
> about Confucian social penetration. Yet now you
> contradictorily cite Taiwan as an example of a
> society that preserved Buddhism?

>
> But the gift keeps on giving. You note that Hong
> Kong "never suffered the full onslaught of the
> Cultural Revolution." That is an understatement,
> for Hong Kong didn't suffer ANY onslaught of the
> Cultural Revolution. Because, you know, it was a
> different country and all.

Nope, 香港 is part of China:

* The bulk of the population is Chinese and has been for centuries. These indigenous Chinese maintained their traditions throughout British rule, and their numbers were kept topped up by regular influxes of people fleeing Communism.

* The entirety of Hong Kong has been controlled by Beijing for over the past twenty years, with some local autonomy.

* The New Territories form the bulk of Hong Kong, and were leased by the British for 99 years from China. That's partly why all of Hong Kong was handed over. They would have ended up with a Berlin Wall situation on the Kowloon/NT border right in downtown area to the north of Hong Kong Harbor.

* The rest of 香港 was seized by the Brits from China in a one-sided treaty in the aftermath of the Opium Wars. The people there, and most of the local place names are derived from Cantonese and Hakka.

Nice try though! If you had said that Hong Kong was not part of the PRC, then you may have had a point. But you didn't, and we were talking about China. You might have also stated - correctly, that Cantonese and not Mandarin, was the main language. (Or at least was until recently - since Beijing has been working hard to change that.)

Also, Hong Kong is a hell of a lot more Chinese than Tibet or Uighurstan, which have been under PRC control for some time now, and they are working to replace the indigenous populations in both places.

In the first
> place, we were discussing China and not Taiwan
> and/or Hong Kong. In the second, Taiwan is one of
> the two best cases of a government imposing
> Confucianism on society due to the KMT's efforts
> to assert its legitimacy as the proper government
> of China.

Hong Kong - covered above.

Taiwan - now here you seem to have an inkling that the place is Chinese, and arose out of the Civil War.

Taiwan, also referred to as Chinese Taipei if I remember rightly for sporting purposes, refers to itself as the Republic of China. Beijing itself sees Taiwan as a rebel province, and Taipei sees Taiwan as the legitimate successor to the pre-Marxist Chinese government.

It's like saying North Korea isn't Korean, or that Northern Ireland isn't actually Irish, because of the different administrations across Ireland and Korea.

> The other case of significant penetration is
> Singapore, where Lee Kuan Yew used it as an
> organizing principle when engineering the city
> state's separation from Malaya. You know that,
> right? Then why didn't you mention it as a
> bastion of Confucian thought?

Again nice try, but I covered that with "[t]here are also Chinese emigré communities outside the PRC who have maintained Chinese Buddhism to some extent."

Singapore is a former British colony, like Hong Kong, but unlike Hong Kong, it has never been part of China. That hasn't stopped it being dominated by the local Chinese population since independence - although other communities have rights, and English has been the main language of commerce in that time.

But again, I'm sure you knew all this.

Singaporean self-discipline definitely stands in contrast to the slow, slovenly decline of the USA. It has few resources, withstood Communist infiltration of its neighbor, and has united its varied population instead of trying to set its groups against each other through pseudo-academic discourse.

There have been Chinese emigré communities around many parts of the Pacific Rim, including California, British Columbia and Australia. Also in Malaya/Malaysia, where they have been a major force, and share similar origins to the Singaporean Chinese community.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 10:22AM

You have a tremendous uphill battle, which is usually an interesting spectacle, as the audience watches the plucky hero slug it out with the local warlord. But in your case, because of your personality and the way you galloped in, trampling whatever was in your way and didn't leave your horse outside, you are not going to win this one. You could be 100% correct in all you assert, but you're never going to gain a tenth of the acceptance here that Mrs. Lot has achieved. Even if we grudgingly came to accept you as the dominant intellectual of this board, we wouldn't like you. Yes, yes, our loss, yadda yadda. And I speak for ALL of me and Saucie.

thrrrppt!

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Posted by: Jordan ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 10:38AM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> you're never going to gain a tenth of the
> acceptance here that Mrs. Lot has achieved.


If I was applying for a job, or working towards a degree, I might tailor my opinions to gain external validation. And maybe in one or two other cases...

But none of those apply here.

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Posted by: jacob ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 06:19PM

This whole thread is effing awesome.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 06:08PM

Jordan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
I must congratulate you on your decision not to venture further into Buddhism and Confucianism. Sometimes discretion is the better part of ignorance.


------------
> 香港 is part of China:

I likewise congratulate you on finding the characters. That must have taken 90 seconds or so of internet time: 60 seconds to find the characters, then another 30 to double check on another site that they are correct.


---------------
> * The bulk of the population is Chinese and has
> been for centuries. These indigenous Chinese
> maintained their traditions throughout British
> rule, and their numbers were kept topped up by
> regular influxes of people fleeing Communism.

Generally true. But how does that support your statement that Hong Kong was affected by the Cultural Revolution?


-----------------
> * The entirety of Hong Kong has been controlled by
> Beijing for over the past twenty years, with some
> local autonomy.

Yes, from 1997. But doesn't that support my contention that the Cultural Revolution was never implemented in Hong Kong since that territory was under British authority (and police and military control) when the Cultural Revolution occurred 30 years previously? Indeed, Hong Kong was the primary base for British and American intelligence operations--including sabotage--against China during the Cultural Revolution.


------------
> * The New Territories form the bulk of Hong Kong,
> and were leased by the British for 99 years from
> China. That's partly why all of Hong Kong was
> handed over. They would have ended up with a
> Berlin Wall situation on the Kowloon/NT border
> right in downtown area to the north of Hong Kong
> Harbor.

Irrelevant.


--------------
> * The rest of 香港 was seized by the Brits from
> China in a one-sided treaty in the aftermath of
> the Opium Wars. The people there, and most of the
> local place names are derived from Cantonese and
> Hakka.

You've got that backwards. The Opium Wars resulted in Britain gaining control of HK first, and the lease of the New Territories came later. No matter, though, since how Britain achieved sovereignty over the city-state is irrelevant to the question of whether the Cultural Revolution occurred in HK a century later.


-----------
> Nice try though! If you had said that Hong Kong
> was not part of the PRC then you may have had a
> point.

I did say that.


---------------
> You might have also stated - correctly,
> that Cantonese and not Mandarin, was the main
> language. (Or at least was until recently - since
> Beijing has been working hard to change that.)

Why would I say that? It's irrelevant both to the question of Confucianism and Buddhism and to the Cultural Revolution.


----------
> Also, Hong Kong is a hell of a lot more Chinese
> than Tibet or Uighurstan, which have been under
> PRC control for some time now, and they are
> working to replace the indigenous populations in
> both places.

Irrelevant.


-------------
> Taiwan - now here you seem to have an inkling that
> the place is Chinese, and arose out of the Civil
> War.

You are going to run into trouble here. . .


-------------
> Taiwan, also referred to as Chinese Taipei if I
> remember rightly for sporting purposes, refers to
> itself as the Republic of China. Beijing itself
> sees Taiwan as a rebel province, and Taipei sees
> Taiwan as the legitimate successor to the
> pre-Marxist Chinese government.
>
> It's like saying North Korea isn't Korean, or that
> Northern Ireland isn't actually Irish, because of
> the different administrations across Ireland and
> Korea.

See? Here you brazenly assert that Taiwan was always part of China. You'll note, if you look very closely, that I never said that. I said that Confucianism was imposed by the KMT after that CKS government removed to Taiwan in the late 1940s.

Why would I put it that way? Because it was far from clear that Taiwan was part of China. The place was peripheral to China for most of its history, became the base for Coxinga's forces during the Qing Dynasy, was under Dutch control, and ultimately was part of Japan from 1870 to WWII. Interestingly--and this is key--the Communists did not initially consider Taiwan part of China. You aren't familiar with Edgar Snow, I know, but in 1936 Mao told him that Taiwan was a different country like Japan.

This changed when the KMT retreated to the island. Then, suddenly, the PRC decided Taiwan was part of China because the country would not be safe if it couldn't control the Offshore Islands. So as much as I appreciate your congratulations regarding my recognition that Taiwan was always part of China, I must demure. That is neither what I said nor true.


-----------------
> Singapore is a former British colony, like Hong
> Kong, but unlike Hong Kong, it has never been part
> of China. That hasn't stopped it being dominated
> by the local Chinese population since independence
> - although other communities have rights, and
> English has been the main language of commerce in
> that time.
>
> But again, I'm sure you knew all this.

Yes. I do know that.


-----------
> Singaporean self-discipline definitely stands in
> contrast to the slow, slovenly decline of the USA.
> It has few resources, withstood Communist
> infiltration of its neighbor, and has united its
> varied population instead of trying to set its
> groups against each other through pseudo-academic
> discourse.

Here I fear you are again bumping up against the limits of your knowledge. Lee united Singapore by granting permanent "affirmative action" according to which the Malays are given a guaranteed number of positions in the government and preferential rights in the economy. Singapore is in no way an open and liberal society with capitalistic norms. It is a state-controlled, highly censored polity in which communal unity is maintained by preferential distribution of resources to disempowered ethnic and religious groups. The government owns most of the land, most of the housing, and big stakes in most of the country's premier businesses. It is the ultimate "nanny state" rather than the conservative, capitalist paradise of your dreams.

A rather important point, I would have thought.


------------------
> There have been Chinese emigré communities around
> many parts of the Pacific Rim, including
> California, British Columbia and Australia. Also
> in Malaya/Malaysia, where they have been a major
> force, and share similar origins to the
> Singaporean Chinese community.

Irrelevant.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2019 06:11PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: HWint ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 09:00PM

the foundation of Confucianism is bind obedience to authority, hierarchy and tradition rooted in the Zhou dynasty 3000 years ago.

if you think the LDS Church is rigid...

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: May 16, 2019 09:09PM

That's overstated.

Confucianism dates to about 500 BCE, and while it emphasized social order it did so in an era of great chaos. And some of the core concepts of the creed are read now more narrowly than they were then. An example is the concept of loyalty, Zhong (a combination of the graphs for middle and heart), an ideogram that in the Analects meant not loyalty to society but loyalty to one's inner values--conscience, if you will.

The real totalitarian creed was Legalism, which was the ideology of Qin Shihuang, who united China just over 200 years BCE. The cost of unifying the country was so high that the Qin Dynasty soon lost power and was replaced by rulers who preferred the more moderate Confucianism.

There was another shift towards stronger central government with Neo-Confucianism in the Tang Dynasty, and that ideology spread to Japan, Korea and, to a lesser extent, Vietnam. But even it didn't penetrate far below the courtly class and there was never any attempt to control the daily lives of Chinese, Japanese, and others.

True totalitarianism and blind obedience had to await the more "enlightened" 20th century West.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: May 17, 2019 08:39PM

These lectures by Dr. Wes Cecil are interesting, enlightening, and delightfully informative.

If the ones you mentioned:

Confucius:
https://youtu.be/lZUksUSXH94

Buddah:
https://youtu.be/H9uOG2JCi98

Socrates:
https://youtu.be/c6OtjYz3WY8

There are numerous other I haven't yet experienced.

Maybe you'll find some joy in these. As is life-

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: May 18, 2019 10:56AM

Thank you.
Love those sapient homo sapiens.

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: May 19, 2019 12:48AM

moremany Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> These lectures by Dr. Wes Cecil are interesting,
> enlightening, and delightfully informative.
>
> If the ones you mentioned:
>
> Confucius:
> https://youtu.be/lZUksUSXH94
>
> Buddah:
> https://youtu.be/H9uOG2JCi98
>
> Socrates:
> https://youtu.be/c6OtjYz3WY8
>
> There are numerous other I haven't yet
> experienced.
>
> Maybe you'll find some joy in these. As is life-
Thanks I loved those lectures.
Especialy the basis for morality is empathy, compSsion, Ren.

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Posted by: jacob ( )
Date: May 17, 2019 08:50PM

This thread rules.

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