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  #1  
Old 08-02-2006, 03:36 AM
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Default What Are the Differences Between Eastern And Western Religions?

In general, what are the major differences between Eastern and Western religions?

Specifically, how do Eastern and Western religions differ in their views of the self?

Also, how do they differ in their notions of the Human Condition? That is, in their notions of what it basically means to be human?
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2006, 10:12 AM
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The biggest I can think of is the view of God. When there is a view of a supreme being in Eastern religions, it's usually the view that it is part of everything and everything is part of it, not that it's an all-powerful being that doles out punishment and reward after death.

I'm gonna have to tackle this again after I get a square meal, my blood sugar's too low to think properly.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2006, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunstone
In general, what are the major differences between Eastern and Western religions?

Specifically, how do Eastern and Western religions differ in their views of the self?

Also, how do they differ in their notions of the Human Condition? That is, in their notions of what it basically means to be human?
wester religions? Eastern religions? please specify, remember Judiasm Christianity and Isalm all started in the middle east, so what do you mean?
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck010342
wester religions? Eastern religions? please specify, remember Judiasm Christianity and Isalm all started in the middle east, so what do you mean?
Eastern meaning Buddhism, Taosim, Janism, etc. (did I forget any guys?, oh yeah, shintonism)

Western meaning: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

I don't know why that's is so hard to understand
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2006, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck010342
wester religions? Eastern religions? please specify, remember Judiasm Christianity and Isalm all started in the middle east, so what do you mean?
I mean Western and Eastern religions in the commonly accepted meaning of the words. I'm not making any attempt to be esoteric about the meaning of Western and Eastern. I hope this helps.
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2006, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunstone
In general, what are the major differences between Eastern and Western religions?

Specifically, how do Eastern and Western religions differ in their views of the self?

Also, how do they differ in their notions of the Human Condition? That is, in their notions of what it basically means to be human?
Reincarnation, Karma... Would you call those wacko cults that spring up from time to time, Eastern religions in the sense that they seem foreign to Western culture?
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2006, 12:15 AM
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What about the notion, which seems largely common to Eastern religions, that the self is impermanent, versus the notion, which seems largely common to Western religions, that the self is eternal?

Also, what about the sense of sin found in the major Western religions versus the lack of a sense of sin found in Eastern religions?

Last, what about the notion, found in some Eastern religions, that humans are a part of nature, versus the notion found in some Western religions that humans are seperate from and above nature?

Are all of these valid differences between Eastern and Western religions?
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Certainty is a mind killer -- Debater Slayer

The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty. -- Kenko

It has always surprised me how little attention philosophers have paid to humor, since it is a more significant process of mind than reason. Reason can only sort out perceptions, but the humor process is involved in changing them. -- Edward de Bono
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2006, 11:50 AM
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Oh boy Sunstone. Those questions are soooo big. I think we are naturally coming to terms with them as they play out on RF in the vast numbers of threads where the two are meeting, but its hard to see the wood from the trees.

All I can think to say right now is that Eastern religions don't have a significant split between theology and philosophy as has occured with Western religions. The split between human and God, nature and human isn't so marked either (as you and Jensa have mentioned). Because of this I think as the boundaries between Western and Eastern thought dissolve, Eastern philosophy/religion may help to fill the gap between science and religion, philosophy and theology, human and nature, etc. that we have in the West.
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunstone
In general, what are the major differences between Eastern and Western religions?

Specifically, how do Eastern and Western religions differ in their views of the self?

Also, how do they differ in their notions of the Human Condition? That is, in their notions of what it basically means to be human?
If I was to sum it up in two words I'd say the West has a more legalistic approach vs. the East has more of a metaphysical approach. Everything else is a domino affect of these two approaches.
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Victor
If I was to sum it up in two words I'd say the West has a more legalistic approach vs. the East has more of a metaphysical approach. Everything else is a domino affect of these two approaches.
I agree with you to some extent here. But not because Western models are rule-bound while Eastern ones are not. I would say that like law, Western religions are based on a construction of a fictional individual with rights. This sets the Western religious individual apart from nature, because these rights are abstract although they are perceived by the believer as reality or truth. Eastern religions view the individual in a more metaphysical sense perhaps as you say, viewing the self as a fictional individual in a very broad sense. Maybe there is also less attachment to beliefs in Eastern religious traditions than Western, due to this perspective of the individual resulting in a less dogmatic and absolutist view of reality. Eastern religions are capable of absorbing other perspectives, rather than viewing them as strictly competing with one's own beliefs. Surely an adversarial legal model is a good analogy for Western religions.
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