Spanish "artist" cleans a temple while drunk

dude gets drunk decides to clean a temple door and damages the artwork.

Just saw that on TV. Since I like old stuff I would have been pretty pissed to see him damage the paint on that door.

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seems like he was meaning well just…

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So, here is my question. Why aren’t the deities of that temple doing something to stop that dude if they are so powerful? If they don’t stop him, could it mean that the deities don’t have the power to stop him (or do anything else the faithful believe they can do) or they have nothing against that door polishing, maybe even want it to happen?

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you could say it to any events, and some could be very offensive.

Spanish art skills strike again.


um can you rephrase this? we honestly cant understand what you mean…

Why aren’t XXX of YYY doing something to stop ZZZ if they are so powerful? If they don’t stop ZZZ, could it mean that XXX don’t have the power to stop ZZZ (or do anything else the faithful believe they can do) or they have nothing against that ZZZ, maybe even want it to happen?

you can put whatever gods and events in the sentenses.

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They do have a fair amount of previous. There was another botch job recently, but I can’t recall what it was.



I think religion cannot be explained rationally. Does not make much sense logically to me, that’s all.


there are very good internationally famous Spanish painters, but there is always a black sheep :sweat_smile:


arent they for social stability and control, and often for power and money. their doctrins dont need to be logical or rational, as far as people believe.

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Poor dude the door didn’t have any protective layer and he was too dunk to notices anything. I will declared myself possessed.

Same reason all studies on prayer have shown no measurable effects on health, wealth, etc.

Gods and deities want to separate people into believers and non-believers. Therefore, God and deities are not allowed to offer proof of their existence; in fact they have to pretend they don’t exist.

Well you asked for it so:

Usually, given the fact they’re paintings, the door guardians (or door gods, 門神) seem generally to be interpreted to ward off evil spirits, less so humans. Secondly, It’s a Mazu temple, and Mazu’s door Guardians are most commonly 千里眼 and 順風耳 – essentially, omniscient sight and omniscient hearing – who Mazu subdued to help her ease the suffering of people. Basically afaik, they listen and see to help her out, not to cut those down who might deface a temple. There are temporal punishments and divine for that.

And as for the concept of divine punishments, there are various options: although Mazu is a folk deity, Chinese religious are notoriously intertwined, hence the concept of the three teachings 三教, and even the temple in which this took place (士林慈諴宮) features at least one Buddhist Bodhisattva, the lead god of Daoism, and a variety of other folk and Daoist deities. It’s also worth noting that is possible that given Japanese repression of folk religion, these could’ve been absorbed into Buddhism as Buddhism was given more of an ok by the Japanese. Anyway, folk religion by definition makes it hard to find a single answer for divine retribution, so Buddhism and Daoism provide better places to look into it. And both of these do have the possibility of more immediate retribution (although Buddhism very very much less so), but also have different interpretations of non-immediate retribution, with Buddhism having karma effect what circle of existence one is reborn into (karma is mostly not “you did something bad and so in the near future something bad might happen to you”) and Daoism has the idea of generational (/inherited) sin basically. So in both of these, there are punishments that might not manifest within the individuals lifetime. And realistically, Buddhism is pretty hands off – if you’re really awful, your punishment will be the ‘hell’ realm or becoming a hungry ghost or animal. Daoism and folk religion are more active, some saying that sickness may come from sin. If you pray to the gods for help, they’ll help you – but the gods in Chinese history don’t seem to have the same vindictive asshole streak those in the west do. I’m no expert, but most of their gods seem more like they’re focused towards rectifying problems – Yu the Great controls the waters to subside floods, not to create them; Shennong provides fertility and herbalist knowledge instead of causing famines and providing poisonous things for people to eat, etc. I’m sure there are associations made between displeasing a god and the consequences, but it mostly seems like they’re there to help humanity, not to fuck us.

So yeah. Obviously he’ll suffer his temporal punishment, and that’d probably be in addition to a karmic effect or an effect on his ancestors (which the temporal punishment might help bring about!). Why does Mazu need to come out with an axe to do away with him, thereby dirtying her hands (or those of her certainly busy generals) when we, the believers, can take care of that for her?

(I don’t actually believe in it, but I do find it deeply interesting :smiley: )

fuckin went and typed a wall of text again


I have seen an argument that from an evolutionary standpoint, in earlier times it may have conferred an actual survival advantage to those who irrationally believed in “something” (whatever that may have been) that would allow them to survive even when rationally there was no hope. The brain that rationally realizes that there is no hope and gives up (when facing, for example, a life-and-death battle against a sabre-tooth tiger) might be less likely to survive than the brain that tends to believe, no matter how impossible the odds and how severe one’s situation, that “something” will somehow come to the rescue and allow you to pull through. So, in line with evolution, those brains that were wired to just give up tended to die out in favor of those other brains that were wired to keep trying, and “faith” might have been a component of that brain wiring, which was then passed on to future generations, and which may remain in the wiring of the brains of modern man. In other words, I guess religion could be viewed as a further development of the evolutionary survival instinct of irrational optimism.

I’m not trying to make a value judgment here, but merely conveying one possible aspect – but certainly not the only aspect – of why religions form and take hold.


The “Gods” at these temples only do work for cash. No money…no help from them. At the very least you must buy some incense for NT$100.


That’s a very interesting explanation for the exitance of religion. There are probably no stats to back this up, like the survival rate of believers versus non-believers in dire situations. Like if you have a boatful of sailors stranded on an arctic island in the 1800s. Chances of survival are close to zero, so non-believers might give up earlier because they rationally see no way out, while believers hang in longer because they believe in divine protection and might get rescued by a ship that passes by the island by accident after the non-believers have died. :sunglasses:

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I didn’t necessarily meant punishment. Could have been helping that poor soul to not make the mistake he made. He was literally knocking on the temple’s door. Some divine intervention, and he would not have taken out that song xiang shui (pine perfume?). Probably not how that works. I don’t know how religion works. I only think it would make sense to me if people who come close to deities or scriptures would be influenced in some way or another to become better people and don’t to evil or stupid things.

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