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May 03, 2024


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Your categorization of Eastern vs. Western religion strikes me as far more romantic than factually accurate. Read the early history of Buddhism and you'll find it was extremely hierarchical from its very beginnings. Moreover, all the Buddhist organizations, be they Tibetan, Japanese, or whatever, are every bit as hierarchical and authoritarian as the Catholic church.

I do though think you're correct when you allude that the salient difference between conservatives and liberals is on the matter of authority. "Authority bad, freedom good!" has ever been the core value of liberals. But taking that ethos as an absolute would be a mistake. That's because it's common for those agitating against authority to be clamoring for, not their autonomy as they might claim, but their authority over others.

Feel like you're a woman trapped in a man's body? You've always been free to go to Macy's and buy a dress and makeup, but instead, you want to take away others' freedoms of privacy and fair play in sporting arenas.

Feel like meat is murder and the world should be vegan? It's not enough to be vegan, you also work to progressively outlaw non vegan agriculture.

Think EVs are neat? Your political party doesn't just encourage EVs, but progressively outlaws the ownership of gas-powered vehicles. They protest they're not authoritarian but are just concerned for the planet, so your car must go. And your gas stove.

They may say their hearts bleed and they're fighting for the oppressed, but the end result is always the same: Invariably, they are acting to take control over you and the world.

And so, let's not kid ourselves, authoritarianism is literally everywhere. Equally present in all political parties, equally present in all major religions, equally present in believers and atheists.

sant64, I disagree with your assertion that Buddhism is as hierarchical as the Catholic church. So do the authors of this study that divided major religions into hierarchical and autonomous, which maybe is a better term than my "interconnected," though to me they get at the same thing. See:


The Muslim and Christian Catholic/Orthodox religions were classed as hierarchical, with Christian Protestant anti-hierarchical, and Buddhism/Hinduism as non-hierarchical. The study looked at the relation between corruption and hierarchical religion. Excerpt:
Religion plays a significant role in influencing corruption levels [26,[29], [30], [31], [32], [33]]. While all religions encourage good moral conduct and ethical behavior, studies show that different religions are associated with varying levels of corruption. Notably, countries whose primary religions are hierarchical religions such as Catholic Christianity (Catholicism), Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and Islam, tend to have higher corruption levels, particularly in comparison to Protestant Christian countries [21,30,[34], [35], [36], [37]]. Supporting this claim, [30] found that corruption levels are lowest in countries with a Protestant majority and highest in countries with an Orthodox Christian majority.

Just did the 99-question thing. I got Good 2.65 (Safe 2.45, Enticing 2.89, and Alive 1.86).

Afraid I don't really know what that means! Later when I'm free, I'll read up the explanations, and what exactly they're trying to measure here.

Check out your scores, and glanced through the explanations immediately following (in your post). Those Neutral Primal numbers seem kind of important, right? So this is what I get: Acceptable 2.5, Changing 3.2, Hierarchical 1.0, Interconnected 4.0, and Understandable 3.0.

(I do get the gist of what this is all about, and kind of get what my scores indicate; but, like I said, I'll need to sit down and read through the explanations in your post, and in more detail on the website, later when I've time.)


Interesting survey. It would be interesting to see both one's own scores, as well as the averages (I think they do provide that as well.)

Cool, thanks for posting.

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