Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

God Less China- Religion and Humanity

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 10, 2010

I have Chinese friend who is studying in the USA and is in love with it. Many would say of course he loves it, the freedom , the independence, etc. But the funny thing is that he loves it for a different reason although I suspect he does not realize it. He said it is the people. But what I suspect is that it is the fact that the USA, as in western countries has God.
Before you write me off as a religious fanatic, open your minds. First off, China is the only great power who in their history has NEVER BELIEVED IN GOD. As in any God. The Jews, Christians and Mulsims are all people of the Book or Bible. Indians have Buddhism which is not a god per se, but a set of beliefs whereby one should have compassion. Compassion is close to love, and Jesus is Love, thus one could argue that at a fundamental level, they are similar. (Chinese have had smatterings of Buddhism, Tao ism and various polystheistic beliefs as in the god of light and trees, but never God). But the Chinese have never even had anyhthing similar to this belief. If yoiu answer Confucious, you are right and wrong. Yes, the belief comes from here but it is based on hierarchies of relationships and not love nor compassion and has nothing to do with God. In fact, it can be argued that due to the nature of Confucius and the notion that our life is a series of relationships which as they become less intimate to our lives actually deserve less of our time and respect. This contrasts greatly to Christianity which says we all have God and are equals.
Thus, to me, what I have seen in every country that I have visited, with the exception of China, is some spark of life which comes from believing in a higher power. You can travel to Rio de Janiero Brazil, and see the most crime infested place, but still in the eyes of the people you see where there is or was a belief in something greater than ourselves.
It is not just I who believes this as well. The communist party is in a quandary, they lament the lack of morals and ethics in the Chinese today, but cannot push them to religion as the communist party is atheist. In addition, they cannot push the people to Confucianism as Mao vilified it 60 years ago. This leaves them with a huge shit pot of problems which are not easy to rectify.

It is odd to make this observation, but most of us who have lived here are appalled at the lack of morals that over a billion people can have. To me, the answer is in the lack of a higher power…

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