catholic vs buddist counrties?

bapak

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i.m an older expat who has lived in both catholic and buddist countries. my personal observation- MOST catholic countries have tremendous petty crime and a significant amouint of murders and kidnappings. buddist(asia)-very little, if any. do the math. 3 AM in my city (1.5 million) no problem- WALK ANYWHERE! just look at mexico, colombia,brazil, the phillipines, costa rica, and the list goes on and on. asia is NOT just sex and booze. and, by the way,i get pizza just like home(nyc). sawadee
 

Bogdan

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Hi Bapak,
I find the subject very interesting.

I arrived at the same conclusion an year ago after visiting Philipines. I think it has a lot to do with the basis of each of the two religions.

On one hand, I see catalocisism preaching the good behaviour; nevertheless, it did many historical wrongs during the past centuries. I have the impression that in most of the countries of the new world it was associated with violence and invasion. Moreover, representants of catalocisism might be found with a demagogical behaviour compared to the doctrine they are preaching. And, in my opinion, as for the muslim religion, the catolicism has a pro-active way (trying not to say agressive) of spreading.

On the other hand, budhism teaches tollerance and "greateness of heart" as a way of life. And I found this things very well ancoured into to the national psyche of the budhist countries.
I think that even muslim countries like Malaesia or Indonesia are much safer then latin america.

Moreover, as far as I saw it, nobody will come and try to convince you to convert to budhism and the budhist priests seemed to me like very humble people and real examples to follow as representants of their religion.

Secondly, this might come as well from the fact that latin countries are as well what one might call "hot blooded". I have the impression they are more passionate and manifest a lot of temper in the way they relate with each other in the day to day life. I felt this in Philipines as well.

Of course this is not to idealise SE Asia, who has a lot of wrongs, but regarding violence I must agree that the picture is very different between catolic and budhist countries.

sawadee khap
 

orwellian

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Bogdan said:
regarding violence I must agree that the picture is very different between catolic and budhist countries.
Read your history and you will see that it's just an illusion.
 

perry

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To be so simplistic in an argument is often incorrect. . Buddhist countries have commited tremendous atrocities against their own people . The killing fields of Cambodia is just one and then Burma and the list goes on and on. Yes all societies are capable of tremendous brutality and to say that buddhism shows differently and are more moral than catholics is a shallow argument.
 

Denver

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-My point exactly.

Religion in Cambodia (from Wikipedia):

Buddhism  
95% Islam  
3% Christianity  
2%
-Enough said.

Neil
 

porteña

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Great food for thought...

I think you have all presented pieces of what is true...

As a Catholic turned Agnostic turned Buddhists, I know that even Tibet used to have a violent past... I have heard the Dalai Lama talk about this.

The Scandinavian countries today also have a different set of cultural codes than the ones they had as Vikings... and we can say they are the same set of folks, ethnically speaking, more or less...
So, maybe, we humans are evolving after all (I hope so!)...

I think that today's Buddhists that seem to be less violent than others are indeed so because the culture and the religion are intertwined: yes, it is a fact, some cultures are less aggressive and less confrontational. If their religion and their set of codes are aligned, that should be the result... at least, ideally.

Anthropologists have not reached agreement on this either, but it is possible that human nature has been more cooperative and peaceful than aggressive since we are Homo sapiens sapiens, contrary to what some European and American schools of thought have led us to think. History, with its account of battles, is not the best reflection of our real history as human beings. It is a partial and biased account of who we are and who we were.

Most indigenous cultures show a different picture: that everybody counts within a community.

It is a matter of what the starting point for each religion is, also... In Catholicism, we were supposedly expelled from Paradise for being bad folks... this is not the starting point of Buddhism...

Most Catholics do not practice in their personal lives what they believe - just ask the average Italian, Spanish, and Argentinian, and they will say that they will do all the social-religious ceremonies, but taking the religion as a guideline for daily life is a different thing... We never learned that it should be like that, either... I should clarify here: I am Argentinian.

As someone interested in Buddhism, I find that they say the opposite thing: if you believe that something is right, then you HAVE TO do it. Thinking and doing become one.

BTW, if any other people interested in Buddhism are reading this thread, I'd be interested to know if they recommend a teacher or temple in BA in particular. I've been looking for one, along either the Zen or Tibetan Buddhist lines, since I relocated here.
 

orwellian

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porteña said:
As a Catholic turned Agnostic turned Buddhists, I know that even Tibet used to have a violent past... I have heard the Dalai Lama talk about this.
I doubt the Dalai Lama told you the whole story. Did he tell you about that he used to be the leader of a horrible feudal society? That the Tibetan people were slaves and serfs that got their hands cut off and eyes gouged out as punishment? Or did he tell you he used to be a CIA agent for several years? Or did he tell you about his Nazi friends? I am sure you have watched the movie Seven Years in Tibet. Did you know that the guy who wrote the book was not an innocent Austrian mountaineer, but a Nazi SS soldier escaping from prosecution?

You should read about the history of Tibet and it will change your mind how peaceful Buddhism is. Keep in mind that Tibet was a feudal society up to the 1950s.

History of Tibet:
http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

How CIA paid him to kill (yes kill) and carry out guerrilla attacks against the Chinese:
http://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/02/world/world-news-briefs-dalai-lama-group-says-it-got-money-from-cia.html?pagewanted=1

The Dalai Lama Nazi connections:
http://www.westernshugdensociety.org/video/dalai-lama-nazi-collaboration/
http://zenbuddhism.tribe.net/thread/4597a19e-c253-4589-acf7-9f8a98965c2d


porteña said:
It is a matter of what the starting point for each religion is, also... In Catholicism, we were supposedly expelled from Paradise for being bad folks... this is not the starting point of Buddhism...
In Tibet the slaves were told that they were slaves because they had lived a wicked prior life and were now punished. Not the same as Christianity but it served the same purpose.
 

porteña

Registered
Hi, Orwellian,

Indeed, I have read those and other sources. Thank you for sharing with us all.

And, no, I did not read or watch the movie Seven Years... I am an avid reader and try to get the facts from several sources and, possibly like you and others, not Hollywood! It's in part due to my Ph.D. training.

When I heard the Dalai Lama talk in the US, he did say theirs used to be a horrible feudal society. I never heard him say that we should emulate Tibet or that people there are better or anything like this... It is true, though, that many Westerners tend to think in these terms, but it is not what the other folks are "pushing", in my opinion.

I should have clarified: the Dalai Lama is not the same as Buddhism. He is a human being... What I meant to say is that even Tibet has a dark past.

That being said, I do think there is something about Buddhist philosophy and the commitment of many people that try to follow it that is missing among average Catholics, in my experience.

I wonder, what do you think about this topic and the influence of religion/culture on behaviour?
 
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