Thursday, October 17, 2013

496: What about the East?

It is generally recognized that Confucian orthodoxy, which came to dominance in the Han dynasty (206 B.C.F.-220 C.E.)., is a river that over time was fed by three powerful streams: Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. 

A typical Chinese, even into the modem period, might be heard to say, "With respect to family and society, I am Confucian; 

with respect to Nature I am Taoist; and with respect to things beyond the world of Nature and society, I am Buddhist"

The stress here is on the harmony of the three traditions. There is no suggestion that one separates family from nature or from "things apart from nature." 

Though Confucianism remains dominant, the three sensibilities provide distinct foci in accordance with which one can construe one's life.

Contemporary China is still a ritually constituted society without grounding in the objective principles associated with reason or natural law, 

its order defined by the exemplars of its tradition, according to Hall and Ames, whom I referred to in the previous lecture.

We insist on the universality of certain values, laws of nature and principles. When we claim that Chinese are subjugated to those same universality, Hall and Ames, call this ethnocentrism.

But physics and other sciences are not just cultural contingencies. Therefore I think, they make it too easy here for themselves.

Individualism, so characteristic for the West, is regarded as selfishness in Chines culture, which remains grounded in filiality and the model of the family that cultivates filial dependency.

Technology is not just a consequence of Western culture. It is also a logical consequence of our scientific insights regarding the world we live in.

Theoretically you could ignore this phenomenon, because it doesn't fit into your own culture. But reality shows that this is not possible and thus technology is a serious threat to China.

Maybe you recall, what I quoted from a newspaper article in lecture 492: "China has lost its soul and to regain it traditional religions should get more space. Chinese President Xi Jinping would behind the scenes advocate this. 

Xi is worried about the decades of moral decline of the Chinese society, under the influence of the booming Chinese economy.

The rapid economic progress in China is associated with an obsession for a lot of money and material prosperity. 

President Xi Jinping hopes that Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism could offer the Chinese people moral benchmarks again."

That was recently, so in 2013. The article of Hall and Ames was written 10 years ago! And they then concluded:

"Asking the Chinese to recognize that they have inalienable rights is to ask them to become, per impossibile, beings with essences or natures. 

Wishing for increased autonomy and freedom for the Chinese people, along with access to the technologies and economic institutions that make for the Western standard of living, is to condemn the Chinese order to dissolution. 

And, after the deluge, there is little hope that any alternative order could be put in its place. There is good reason to believe that the Chinese intellectual, social, and political orders are in crisis."

This leaves us with an interesting picture of China today and many questions about its future.

The Discussion

[13:19] herman Bergson: Thank you..:-))
[13:19] Gemma Allen: wow
[13:19] Nectanebus applauds
[13:19] Nectanebus: Quite the depressing tone on this one, it seems...
[13:19] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:19] Gemma Allen: in a way
[13:19] xtc yonimyxtc: mind boggling
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:19] herman Bergson: Ye sin deed Nectanebus....
[13:19] Gemma Allen: well
[13:19] Abinoam Nørgaard: About Xi Jinping, he sounds a lot like the Popes who've been warning for decades that Europe is losing its sense of identity due to secularization and marginalization of traditional Christianity.
[13:20] herman Bergson: But interesting is that this depressing tone was set 10 years ago
[13:20] Abinoam Nørgaard: It's not just China that is undergoing transformation, it's Europe as well
[13:20] xtc yonimyxtc: gee, i missed all those warnings
[13:20] Bejiita Imako: as i get this Chinese culture and modern technology don't mix
[13:20] ἀρετή: ten years...
[13:20] herman Bergson: Interesting point Abinoam :-))
[13:20] Gemma Allen: well some people can see the results of history
[13:21] Nectanebus: Yeah, everywhere's worried about the decline of moralism vis-a-vis consumerism
[13:21] Abinoam Nørgaard nods
[13:21] Gemma Allen: always have been
[13:21] herman Bergson: Our big mistake is that we created a money world...
[13:22] herman Bergson: our science and technology are used to make money....
[13:22] herman Bergson: on every fart a patent claim
[13:22] Abinoam Nørgaard: lol
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: ahah
[13:23] herman Bergson: and then our eternal growth of the economy....
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: well thats true
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: and with money comes greed
[13:23] Gemma Allen: is true tho some of the original creators of tech were hoping for it to better life for mankind
[13:23] herman Bergson: the point is that the Chinese never organized their society in that way.....
[13:23] Gemma Allen: the money people got hold
[13:23] Nectanebus: Ah, but a Technocracy is quite the opposite to a Consumerist society.
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: the thing is if we do something we always want something back, thats why we have money
[13:24] Nectanebus: And perhaps the problem here is the disinclination of various philosophies of the world to assimilate the questions and meanings of technology into their ponderings...
[13:24] Nectanebus: technology*
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: that seems to be the way most people wirk
[13:24] herman Bergson: that is the point nectanebus.....
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: tit for tat so to say, nothing for free
[13:24] Gemma Allen: well most did not because it was nto there
[13:25] herman Bergson: Islam is an example of anti technological attitude....
[13:25] Nectanebus: certainly
[13:25] herman Bergson: and emancipation of the individual
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:25] herman Bergson: Shoot a twelve year old girl because she goes to school...
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: they go backwards in time instead of forward
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: and start lot of wars
[13:26] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:26] Gemma Allen: it is a shame
[13:26] Corronach: on that note, happy Eid
[13:26] Gemma Allen: but
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: look what's happening in mid east now
[13:26] herman Bergson: But like the problems in China this is a reaction to what is forced upon us by Western culture....
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: so tragic
[13:26] Gemma Allen: those are radicals
[13:26] herman Bergson: But contrary to HAll and Ames, I dont think you can call it ethnocentrism
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: indeed but start to get out of control
[13:27] Gemma Allen: some islamic countries have much more liberal views of women
[13:27] Nectanebus: A bit of radicalism amongst the change can be healthy as an anchor to a populace during times of flux.
[13:27] Gemma Allen: Turkey for example
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: thats true
[13:27] herman Bergson: I doubt that Gemma...
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes thats true
[13:27] herman Bergson: also Turkey is moving backwards....
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: at least my experience
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: compared to other places
[13:28] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:28] Gemma Allen: compared
[13:28] Nectanebus doesn't pay much heed to Turkish affairs
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: also turkey is one of few places u can visit in mid east that is not a war zone
[13:28] Gemma Allen: hope not
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: been there done that
[13:28] Gemma Allen: it was a model
[13:28] herman Bergson: true....but islamic opposition is growing in Turkey too again
[13:28] Gemma Allen: oh dear
[13:29] Gemma Allen: that is a shame
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: oow
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:29] herman Bergson: Maybe the problem of today is...
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: loved the place when i was there and want to go back someday soon, lot of my friends have been there before now recently too
[13:30] herman Bergson: that whatever culture you have to face the reality of natural sciences anr its consequences....
[13:30] herman Bergson: take the mobile phone...
[13:30] herman Bergson: you can not call it just  a product of our culture...
[13:30] herman Bergson: as a mere contingency
[13:31] Nectanebus: True, but I don't think science is likely to interfere with cultural pursuits overmuch, even in a religious sense, unless we're talking true regressionist thought, which isn't as prominent as medias make us think...#
[13:31] herman Bergson: or do all prefer communications with drums still :-)
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:31] Abinoam Nørgaard: i do lol
[13:31] Gemma Allen: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:31] Abinoam Nørgaard: hate the damn mobiles
[13:31] Bejiita Imako:
[13:32] herman Bergson: Guess you are a musician Abinoam :-))
[13:32] ἀρετή: music moves the world
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: i think modern smart phones are really practical things, the prob is nowadays everyone stare into those instead of socialising with each other
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: the asocial society
[13:33] herman Bergson: Maybe bejiita....
[13:33] Abinoam Nørgaard: i'm not, i just not a big fan of this idea of 24/7 availability that mobiles have introduced more than anything else. sure, you can turn it off, but everybody expects you to be available non-stop
[13:33] Nectanebus: Truth, Abi
[13:33] Nectanebus: If I'm not on work time, I refuse to have my mobile with me
[13:33] herman Bergson: indeed Abinoam
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: seen that on several occasions, people next to each other and all just stare down silently into their devices
[13:33] Nectanebus: Triangulation? no thanks
[13:33] ἀρετή: that's when you use technology to learn to meditate and reach out to learn about the essences and nature of people
[13:33] Abinoam Nørgaard: exactly
[13:34] herman Bergson: well anyway...when you look at Chinese philosophy today
[13:34] Nectanebus: And yeah, I think one thing Chaotes have ahead of other philosophies is occult use of technology as a matter of course
[13:34] herman Bergson: there is a serious struggle going on, I guess
[13:34] Nectanebus: Kinda of touches on what we mentioned a while ago about cities being ntural et cetera
[13:34] Nectanebus: natural*
[13:35] Abinoam Nørgaard: i missed that one
[13:35] herman Bergson: At least, I hope, you have some idea about Chinese philosophy today
[13:36] Abinoam Nørgaard: yes, thank you for the lecture!
[13:36] Corronach: Thank you herman
[13:36] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:36] herman Bergson: We'll leave the Chinese as such behind and focus our attention on one of the influences on Chinese philosophy....buddhism
[13:36] Nectanebus: Ending early today?
[13:36] Gemma Allen: wil be interesting to watch
[[13:37] Bejiita Imako: aaa
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[13:37] Gemma Allen: and keep in mind while watching china
[13:37] herman Bergson: Not in particular nectanebus
[13:37] herman Bergson: but what else is there to say about the future of China ...:-)
[13:37] Qwark Allen: the next super power
[13:37] herman Bergson: That is my idea too Gemma....
[13:37] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:37] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:37] Abinoam Nørgaard:
[13:37] ἀρετή: it's kinda scary
[13:38] herman Bergson: And that is the question Qwark...
[13:38] Nectanebus: Until the aging population swipes it from under them
[13:38] Gemma Allen: well thinking back to the demise of the soviet union
[13:38] Abinoam Nørgaard: indeed
[13:38] herman Bergson: Due to their philosophical background, some doubt that they can make it as a superpower
[13:38] Abinoam Nørgaard: i'm doubtful myself
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: they don't know how to handle our stuff, will collapse
[13:39] Qwark Allen: start looking at the economy, etc
[13:39] herman Bergson: Well...their confucian idea of society as a family....
[13:39] Qwark Allen: start looking international trade, and who owns what
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: you cant handle modern technology without understanding the science behind for ex, to get all pieces together
[13:39] Abinoam Nørgaard: corruption in china and lack of political freedoms are some of the things that will prevent them from becoming a true super power.
[13:40] Qwark Allen: ehehhe
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: all pieces of the puzzle must be there
[13:40] Gemma Allen: that may be very true
[13:40] herman Bergson: yes Abinoam...things like that
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:40] Qwark Allen: their system its a bit strange to our culture, but they have science behind them
[13:40] Nectanebus: how does lack of political freedom stop one becoming a superpower? I thought a dictatorship might be preferable from a cold-blooded standpoint...
[13:40] Abinoam Nørgaard: in short term yes
[13:41] Abinoam Nørgaard: but no dictatorship has held on for long
[13:41] Qwark Allen: they have a satilite in mars, a space station in orbit also
[13:41] herman Bergson: But science as a product derived from foreigners Qwark
[13:41] Qwark Allen: the 3rd launched
[13:41] Nectanebus: Interesting point, Herman
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: thats true
[13:41] Qwark Allen: not really
[13:41] Qwark Allen: we can say the USA have foreigners making their science moving foward
[13:41] Qwark Allen: but not china
[13:41] herman Bergson: all cultures try to integrate science .....but it still is a product of Western thinking...
[13:42] Gemma Allen: taken from others tech
[13:42] Qwark Allen: mmmm
[13:42] herman Bergson: For instance....
[13:42] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:42] herman Bergson: individualism is a source of creativity.....
[13:42] herman Bergson: an attitude unknown in japan....
[13:42] Qwark Allen: check how many foreigners were employed for china to make their space station
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: china assimilates what they get from outside copying it well but unclear if they have the understanding how it really works
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: like we do
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: dont know
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: some do maybe, and some dont
[13:42] herman Bergson: therefore Japan was a long time a good copier of western products...
[13:43] Gemma Allen: a very good copier :-)
[13:43] Qwark Allen: japan is a pioneer for sure in electronics
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:43] herman Bergson: yes Gemma  they were able to improve the copies...not to invent new things
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: but japan understand the science behind the things as well
[13:43] Qwark Allen: like china
[13:43] herman Bergson: yes today ...
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: its a real high tech place 10 hears ahead of the rest of the world
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: years
[13:44] Qwark Allen: make no mistake, anyone that makes and runs a space station, knows what is doing
[13:44] Nectanebus: Because Buddhism itself isn't a very "religious" viewpoint, and Shinto, well....kinda odd to explain.
[13:44] Nectanebus: But these things aren't as cloying as a Daoist view of technology
[13:44] Nectanebus: Where's the Ki in electricity?
[13:45] Nectanebus: Makes sense to Westerners, but not the Chinese...and odd thing...
[13:45] Abinoam Nørgaard: i think you're giving too much credit to religion there. it's like saying that we would have no space science without teachings of jesus
[13:45] Nectanebus: I mean as to how the "religions" themselves view technologies
[13:45] ἀρετή: I thought there are more Christians in China.
[13:45] Nectanebus: Not as to how much hold thy have o'er the populace
[13:46] Abinoam Nørgaard: sure, but in general, i think one can be a devout buddhist or a taoist and a perfectly good scientist
[13:46] Abinoam Nørgaard: at the same time
[13:46] herman Bergson: Historically since and technology could develop in europe because it freed itself from religious constraints
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:46] Qwark Allen: At one end, some Bible organizations claim that there are as many as 200 million Christians in China already, not without the hope of encouraging continued flow of support for their many programs for aiding the Christians in China.
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: the church held back technology development for maybe 100s of years
[13:47] herman Bergson: On the other hand Aninoam, some research seem to show that about 3% of eurpean scientists like to call themselves christians
[13:47] Qwark Allen: heeheheh i would say at least 1000 bej
[13:47] Abinoam Nørgaard: maybe in the area of astronomy, but it aided medical research and humanities, among others
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: we could have come much further then we have done if it werent for that
[13:47] Abinoam Nørgaard: in some ways
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: thats sad
[13:47] Qwark Allen: yep
[13:48] Qwark Allen: one the reasons i don`t like them
[13:48] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:48] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:48] Qwark Allen: why*
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: angles and demons show that clearly
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: religion against particle physics
[13:49] Abinoam Nørgaard: i wouldn't take my history out of that book lol
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: maybe not
[13:49] Qwark Allen: what is the perspective of china religion, of technology?
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: but shows a part of the idea
[13:49] herman Bergson: There was an article in my newspaper yesterday about religiosity....
[13:49] Abinoam Nørgaard: yes, i see what you mean
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: that religion and scientific development oppose each other
[13:49] Qwark Allen: :-/
[13:49] herman Bergson: and why it is healthy for people to be religious...
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: basically science what time to go forward, religion backwards
[13:50] Nectanebus: I think there's a lot of supposition all of a sudden
[13:50] Qwark Allen: i see the point there! the more dumb is the collective, more easy is the collective to buy cheap religiosity
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: many islamic places live like it was middle ages now
[13:50] Qwark Allen: look at the cargo cult in polinesia
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: goes back in time
[13:50] Qwark Allen: for me was a eye opener, this cargo cult
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:50] ἀρετή: unless it's Dubai
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: wicker man analogy
[13:50] Abinoam Nørgaard: hehe, yes arete
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: yes dubai is a different story
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:51] herman Bergson: Maybe I could dedicate a lecture to the phenomenon of religiosity before starting with buddism :-)
[13:51] Qwark Allen: check Abu Dabi
[13:51] Qwark Allen: more sci fi then Dubai
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: i want to go play golf there
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:51] Qwark Allen: hehehe
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: and Belek too
[13:51] Abinoam Nørgaard: we can't generalize entire religions like that. clearly there are lots of differences about how islam is expressed and practiced in different places. just like christianity is.
[13:52] herman Bergson: true Abinoam...
[13:52] herman Bergson: but I want to take it one step back.....
[13:52] ἀρετή: Thanks, Qwark, would look it up.
[13:52] herman Bergson: where does religiosity come from?
[13:52] Qwark Allen: maybe in general we can say that religion go out, when technology goes in
[13:52] herman Bergson: and how to deal with it
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: indeed, there are differences but the general direction goes in a certain way in general it seems for many places
[13:53] ἀρετή: maybe it's how people perceive religion
[13:53] Nectanebus: Chickens and eggs, I think, Herman
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: its tricky
[13:53] ἀρετή:
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: complicated subject
[13:53] Nectanebus: And I don't think it's as simple as coming to a final solution on the religious question
[13:53] herman Bergson: no Nectanebus, I wouldn't say that...
[13:53] Qwark Allen: and the reason comes from more educated people, question more religion points of view
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: nope
[13:54] Abinoam Nørgaard: i don't have a problem with religiosity as such. there doesn't seem to be a single human community without it. it's how it manifests and whether it is a force for good or evil that i'm concerned about
[13:54] herman Bergson: ok...I'll throw some oil on this fire inthe enxt lecture :-))
[13:54] Gemma Allen: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:54] Gemma Allen: ok
[13:54] Qwark Allen: ehehhe
[13:54] Gemma Allen: thursday?
[13:54] Nectanebus: Chickens and eggs, then, as far as "where it came from"
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes...Thursday...
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: religion in itself can be good but its often misinterpreted and then used in the totally wrong way
[13:54] Gemma Allen: i think i can make it
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: for power and to oppress
[13:54] Qwark Allen: Chinese eggs from japan chickens?
[13:54] herman Bergson: I agree with Abinoam :-)
[13:54] Nectanebus: I'll be working as usual, but I should make this time next week :)
[13:54] Abinoam Nørgaard:
[13:55] Corronach: i'll probably be here
[13:55] Gemma Allen: opposite of me
[13:55] Gemma Allen GIGGLES!!
[13:55] Gemma Allen: ...LOL...
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[13:55] herman Bergson: ok....
[13:55] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:55] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:55] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:55] Gemma Allen: herman
[13:55] Gemma Allen: next week the burn2 is on all week
[13:55] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:55] Abinoam Nørgaard: lol
[13:55] Gemma Allen: i will be rangering
[13:55] Qwark Allen: i play at the opening
[13:55] Bejiita Imako:
[13:55] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:55] herman Bergson: before we move on to buddhism and so on we first take a stand on religiosity from a philosophers point of view
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: hope not too laggy
[13:56] Abinoam Nørgaard: i'll come wearing a fire-proof suit
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: looking forward to burn
[13:56] Nectanebus: heheh
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:56] Qwark Allen: ahhaah will be for sure the first hours
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: i come with my flame thrower then
[13:56] Bejiita Imako:
[13:56] Abinoam Nørgaard:
[13:56] ἀρετή: I'll come and take pics then
[13:56] Abinoam Nørgaard: hahaha
[13:56] Gemma Allen: ah bood
[13:56] Gemma Allen: good
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: when we try set each other on fire
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:56] Gemma Allen: the builds are very good
[13:56] Abinoam Nørgaard: sounds like fun
[13:56] Gemma Allen: lots os them
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: loves this event
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: its so nice
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: this and SLB events
[13:57] herman Bergson: Before you do all that I kindly would point at the rules of engagement here as described behind me :-))
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: are the best
[13:57] Abinoam Nørgaard smiles
[13:57] Qwark Allen: indeed m8
[13:57] Nectanebus: Anywho, later on everyone
[13:57] Corronach: thanks herman
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: ok cu soon
[13:57] Abinoam Nørgaard: bye everyone, i'll be off too
[13:57] Abinoam Nørgaard: take care
[13:57] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°•  Bye !  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜  
[13:57] Nectanebus: Fare thee well
[13:57] Qwark Allen: ty
[13:57] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.´ ¯¨.¸¸`**  **´ ¸¸.¨¯` H E R MA N ´ ¯¨.¸¸`**   **´ ¸¸.¨¯`
[13:57] herman Bergson: ok...thank you all again for your participation :-)
[13:57] Gemma Allen: where
[13:57] Qwark Allen: hope i can some thursday to
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: this was some stuff to think about indeed
[13:58] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-))
[13:58] ἀρετή: Thank you
[13:58] Qwark Allen: need to go get some food before sleep
[13:58] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:58] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:58] Gemma Allen: ye
[13:58] Bejiita Imako:
[13:58] xtc yonimyxtc: thank you, professor bergson
[13:58] Gemma Allen: and look up
[13:58] herman Bergson: And keep your eye open on China
[13:58] Gemma Allen: Bye, Bye   
[13:58] Gemma Allen: for now
[13:58] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: i will
[13:58] Bejiita Imako:
[13:58] herman Bergson: thnx Gemma
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: nee to check some stuff up
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: about this
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: cu
[13:59] ἀρετή: have a good day
[13:59] herman Bergson: Some discussion !

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