Taiwanese acceptance of religion

So is science. And philosophy. And just about any human attempt at the endeavor of thought.

Religion began as just a way to explain why lightning occurred and people died. The concept of the afterlife is rooted in the basic human fear of death - non-existence is such a tough concept to grasp. Nowadays we know via the scientific method why lightning happens, though no one has ever come close to answering the second question. Religion may be an outdated method to explain natural phenomenon and has been successfully replaced by science, but as long as people fear death, there will always be a market for it.

That’s the old explanation. The new explanation is that religion and the supernatural beliefs are actually by-products of the cognitive systems humans need to interact in a complex society of social primates. Basically, gods, ghosts, and the supernatural are disembodied other minds imbued with teleological aspects that are outgrowths of the teleological thinking humans require to survive in the world.


Of course the other explanation (less popular, I’m sure) is that religion is an expression of belief in a God or gods. Maybe the existence of God (or gods) would have as much to do with our impulse for religion as our ignorance. I’m not saying that belief in God should be mandatory, nor am I saying that there aren’t some pretty ignorant believers out there - I’m just saying that there are lots of critical thinkers out there who still choose to believe. :neutral:

It’s hard to imagine Taoists proselytizing isn’t it? I used to live behind a temple, I can handle the crackers from time to time but I’m thankful I don’t have people knocking on my door asking me to attend prayer meetings.

Talking of “tolerance”… Sometimes, when I’m in a bad mood, I’m asking myself why I don’t set up my own church with me as head, create some odd religion, get an ARC through it, find lots of followers and talk them into giving me their money. No more work, I only need to do a number of speeches - the less comprehensible the better.
Yes, that too is possible with the level of “religious tolerance” we have in Taiwan… (Though this business opportunity is not at all restricted to foreigners…) :noway: