Think about what cultures, other than your own are interesting or attractive to you. What about them is interesting or attractive to you?
Think about what cultures tend to inspire revulsion in you. What about them is revolting or repellent to you?
I think this is very interesting, on both accounts.
2 Examples of Cultures I find Interesting and attractive
I'll do 2 examples of cultures I tend to respond with revulsion to later.
I love meeting and talking to the locals whenever I'm away from home. It's interesting to get other perspectives and learn about the salt-of-the-earth types in other places.
I want to go to Oceania and talk to the regular folks there. They seem generally laid back.
Rural Europe. I'd like to know how different they are from urban Europe and rural America.
I want to see the East. China, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia. All of it.
I find East Indian/Hindu culture absolutely repugnant. Polytheism. Sacred animals. Child prostitutes. WORLD POWER BY 2020. It's all either against my core beliefs or annoying.
I'll probably think of more later.
"I find East Indian/Hindu culture absolutely repugnant. Polytheism. Sacred animals. Child prostitutes. WORLD POWER BY 2020. It's all either against my core beliefs or annoying."
I'm not going to defend India cause I'm about to trash it in another post but can we at least agree that polytheism, sacred animals and child prostitutes are hardly unique to India and/or Hinduism?
find East Indian/Hindu culture absolutely repugnant. Polytheism. Sacred animals. Child prostitutes. WORLD POWER BY 2020. It's all either against my core beliefs or annoying.
That's a very inaccurate descriptor of "Hinduism" - the more enlightened forms of Hinduism are monotheistic and morally universalist, and while I'm not sure their theology completely complies with Christian orthodoxy, it acknowledged Christ as an "avatar" of the one universal God - Mouni Sadhu is an example of such.
The polytheistic sects which get pained under the broad brush of "Hinduism" are basically just regarded as pagan cults that unenlightened, secular-minded masses follow. Much as the Greek pagan pantheon was more or less regarded as amoral and secularistic mythos by enlightened Greek sages and philosophers such as Socrates and Plato, who acknowledged one God and moral and scientific universalism.
(A popular myth for example is that Socrates was sentenced to death for being an atheist; but the reality is that he was merely declared an "atheist" because he denounced the Greek gods as immoral; but actually believed in a universal 'divine genius').
"That's a very inaccurate descriptor of "Hinduism" - the more enlightened forms of Hinduism are monotheistic and morally universalist, and while I'm not sure their theology completely complies with Christian orthodoxy, it acknowledged Christ as an "avatar" of the one universal God - Mouni Sadhu is an example of such."
It's not inaccurate. Some Hindus are clearly polytheist. Others are monotheist. Others are somewhere in between. Hinduism is a complicated religion without a definite beginning, a definite set of literature or rules, and no single definition of who is or isn't a Hindu.
HInduism is more of a diverse collection of sects than a unified "religion".
The forms of Hinduism I'm referring to define true Hinduism as accepting one universal truth and one universal higher power, and the polytheistic sects as false.
I consider these to be the correct interpretations of Hinduism, since they tie in well with objective natural laws and realities of the universe, while the polytheistic sects do not.
Funny thing about religions. You don't get to decide for them, which ones are true or false, especially by criteria that they themselves do not look to.
I might as well say, I don't consider any trinitarian version of Christianity, to be correct, since it doesn't tie in with objective natural laws, and realities of the universe.
Doesn't work that way.
Doesn't change facts, of course. But religion is not about facts in the first place.
To make thing shorter - what I'm arguing is that religious or ideological "beliefs" have logical meanings and implications behind them, therefore while no specific theology or ideology may itself have a monopoly on truth, some are closer to universal truths than others.
From what I've read, the logical implication behind polytheism, was essentially that there were no objective scientific laws, and that everything which occurred in the universe was completely random (determined by the whims of pagan gods such as Zeus).
While the logical idea behind monotheism was that there was one universal set of laws which governed the entire universe - such as gravity; prior to the discovery of gravity for example, pagan religions believed the sunrise and sunset were 'random' (therefore some practice human sacrifices to appease their "sun gods").
This is why I argue that polytheism is "less correct" than monotheism, because it seems to be associated with the rejection of scientific universalism, while monotheism with the acceptance of it.
(But I'm not going to continue to rant about it if it has to turn in to a diatribe about the 'philosophy of religion', since what I tend to see is that dragging things out like this just confuses people rather than leading to productive discussions...)
I think there might be some confusion between polytheism and animism - but thanks for clarifying this makes more sense than your prior statement.
Possibly; my understanding of polytheistic religion though is that while some "gods" may outrank others, there isn't a single one which is "supreme", and this tied in with the idea that there were no "universal laws" which governed the entire universe, though I may not totally be correct on the details.
Basically, while religious fundamentalism is often associated with rejection of modern science and blind adherence to dogma, what I've seen historically is that the notion of one universal diety seemed to tie in with the notion of universal laws, which paved the way for modern scientific theories.
I'm not an expert on Hindu polytheism either, but I believe the more 'superstitious" Hindus, such as those who consider cattle sacred tend to be rooted in more polytheistic ideas, while the monotheistic versions of Hinduism don't typically reject modern science and view their theologies as compatible with scientific truths.