Mar 15, 2010

On why China is lack of spiritual development

After reading the article ( from Mr. Zhou Guoping, a contemporary philosopher, on why China lacks spiritual development, here is my two cents.

Good article. However, instead of complaining about it, can we find out what’s the reason for such phenomenon? What’s in China’s history and culture or maybe even genetic coding that has prevented the development of metaphysics or pursuit of spiritual transcendence? I would attribute part of that to the oriental language which is less structured than Latin or other alphabetical languages. Also, I would hypothesize that great philosophy comes from highly competitive and almost tragically unstable environment where survival of individual as well as organization are threatened on a daily basis. Only in those environment can the great mind be both challenged constantly and be provided with the experiment or life experience for creating the thought. For example, almost all of the great Chinese philosophers came from the Chunqiu and Zhanguo (Spring Autumn and Warring Nations). All the Greek thoughts came from the period of warring city states. German philosophers came from the pre-Prussia-domination period. Even the like of Thomas Hobbes of Britain and Descartes of France were produced when Cromwell disrupted the social order between Charles I and Charles II/James II. In Chinese there is a saying, hero emerges from chaotic world (“Luan Shi Chu Ying Xiong”). This is also true for Philosophers, with the only exception of Immanuel Kant, who had a rather calm life but whom I consider more as a summarizer than an innovator.
So, the cure for Mr. Zhou’s complaint is to make the world another tragically chaotic place and he will get his wish. That’s a dilemma most of us won’t attempt and also the emergence of artificially-enhanced intelligent beings (I would call man-computer hybrid) within the next 50 years would make his concerns a moot point.
Cometh, the age of spiritual machines. What’s thy thought?

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