Race, Religion and Culture

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by YO-ELEVEN-11, May 28, 2006.

  1. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    First of all, I would like to say that I respect all cultures and races on the planet. I feel that we should not have any racial labels or, for that fact, any religious labels for any groups of people on the earth. (What you believe and not what you are called). I also have many friends who are of different ethnic backgrounds. One thing I have noticed though is that most (not all) have similar religious qualities and choices in their particular religion.

    What I would like to know is if race and culture play a part in most peoples decision on their choice of religious faith?

    Is there a correlation between race and culture and religious faith?

    Any comments?
    :cool:
     
  2. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    I think the influence is always there, even if we think we are beyond it, or immune from it. If not, then why are there no Zoroastrians at CR? lol ;)

    Namaskar,

    taijasi
     
  3. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,084
    Likes Received:
    1

    I would like to eliminate "race" from the above if possible, because just being born Chinese wouldn't necessarily mean one would be Taoist or Chan Buddhist. Race is a poor indicator of anything except certain adaptations. Culture and conditioning however are excellent ways we indoctrinate others into certain beliefs. Social Psychologists and Scientists have much to say on this subject. Notice that these days we have many people gravitating away from their birth religion as it were in order to find deeper meaning and understanding. This too seems natural as humans are a curious lot spurred on to a deeper relationship with what they think is reality. The link between what we were raised to believe, what we explore, and what we finally settle into is an interesting study in personality type (MBTI) Levels of faith as described by M. Scott Peck and even the logarithmic scale determined by Kinesiology in Hawkins "Power vs. Force".
    I was raised Lutheran, spent time with the Evangelical Born again group and now find myself in the last 20 yrs or so studying and practicing Zen and Taoist arts.

    Peace
    Mark
     
  4. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0

    LOL ..
    Yes the influence is there no doubt, but how much of an influence is it?
     
  5. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, but race can determine what culture you live in and from there those other factors can take hold and shape you in many way. So does race influence what culture and conditioning you have there by having an influence on your choice of religious faith?
     
  6. Kaldayen

    Kaldayen Spiritual ronin

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    1) Because there's only one race, the human race, I don't think this applies.

    2) Culture as a clear influence on population's beliefs. Religions often have a "don't search, here are your answers" philosophy, so many are satisfied with that and adopt their parents' or society's religion.
    ___
    Kal
    "Believing or not isn't important, searching is." (from B. Werber)
     
  7. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    Obviously there are exceptions, but for the most part culture is not just influenced by, but dependent on race. I think that religion is an integral part of a culture. Traditionally then, it was not that culture played a part in your choice of faith, but rather that culture chose it for you.

    but, times they are a changing.

    the world is getting smaller, TV, radio, internet, relatively fast international travel, all these things have and will continue to blur the boundaries of race, culture and religion.

    If this process continues, the way we think about these three things will necerssarily change due to it becoming harder and harder to discern seperate races, cultures, and even religions.
     
  8. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,084
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  9. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  10. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,084
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi Cavalier,


    What I meant was, race can no longer be used as an indicator of anything. If you went to vietnam and brought a small baby back to brooklyn and raised her in a jewish community she probably wouldn't grow up believing in Zen.
    While culture is a good indicator of religious beliefs, there is and Kaldayen suggests only one race, that would be the Human race.

    Peace
    Mark
     
  11. brucegdc

    brucegdc Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think that there is a tendency to describe culture (and especially sub-cultures) in terms of Race, since that's an easy way to do it - the "black" culture in the US is easily described, and it is true that the vast majority of the people in that culture are of the physical characteristics usually referred to as "black" - but it's a cultural issue, not racial. Take a newborn from that ethnicity, and raise them in London and the culture is completely different, for example. Take the same child, drop them in Sweden, and it's a completely different outcome.

    Race has nothing to do with it - the prevailing sub-culture of the area has much to do with it.

    There is a tendency to stick with the religious beliefs of ones parents - and for a majority of folks this holds throughout their lives - it's the faith you are most familiar with, and comfortable. Rebellion against the faith of your youth is also common - and the direction of the rebellion may vary - either to different sub-sets of the same faith, or abandoning to a different faith - hence the link from the culture to religion - it's part of the cultural set. Race is irrelevant here.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    21,279
    Likes Received:
    1,705
    Yes, 'race' and culture affect your religious beliefs...but it is becoming more and more limited. Now my yes is obviously my opinion not a statement of fact and may be modified as I learn more.

    My thought process is as follows....centuries...millenia ago...our 'race', our religion our culture was born of our region in which we lived. Do we have a better term? Because as Kal indicated we are all one race, human...we have some different features, skin color and hair...but we are one...made diverse by where we lived and those we bred with...our culture and religion were created from the same source...depending on the food available and the envioronment we developed some habits...culture...and also due to our environment and our local prophets, medicine men, gurus, we developed some myths, combined them with some enlightened thought, and variety of inspirations and divinations and created religions.

    Now all of this, culture, 'race', and religion is hereditary, passed down from our parents...not only our genes which determine our features but environmently we learn our culture...and are taught the family religion...

    Until recently (last couple hundred years and more dramatically last few decades) that stuck...we married each other, believed the same things, and kept the line moving... With more and more migration, more and more folks intermarrying between 'races' between cultures, between religions...the connection to all the above becomes less and less...

    So while we are still have a tie to our historical roots...and there is a level of probability we will follow suit with coke or pepsi...whatever we were early on indoctrinated with...many of us move on...eventually we'll all be tan... and finding the correlation harder to find...
     
  13. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    Couldn't agree more.
     
  14. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Mark

    I think it's possible that we're driving at the same point. I don't think there's anything inherent in a person's race which could determine their culture. I completely agree with your example of the Vietnamese baby brought up in Brooklyn.

    But this is kinda what I was getting at when I wrote, "Obviously there are exceptions, but for the most part culture is not just influenced by, but dependent on race." Your Vietnamese baby would be one of the exceptions. Things like that are happening more and more, but generally Vietnamese babies are brought up within the Vietnamese culture.

    Andy
     
  15. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    1
    This blurring of the boundaries of race and culture is, I believe, pretty specific to economic class. That is, at present rice farmers in Laos can't, for the most part, surf the net after a hard day in the paddy and jet off on three day weekends to attend revelries in Bangkok. Most people in the third world and in the lower economic classes in developed countries simply do not have the resources to participate in the dreams that America and Western Europe have been exporting for the past fifty years or so.

    In fact there is abundant evidence that the gap between people with the economic advantages to do such things and the poor is widening apace. This is a very troubling thing for dream exporters to deal with, and I believe that's why we're seeing the redoubling of efforts at economic development in areas such as Africa, especially in the sub-Saharan region.

    So, aside from the obvious limitations of genetic, environmental, and familial programming, there is simply not enough wealth available to anticipate that the dream of a coffee-colored-skinned world speaking regional forms of English to each other might come true in the near future. But I believe that It could happen in a few hundred years or so if certain governments don't inadvertantly foul our world beyond its ability to heal and sustain itself.

    flow....:cool:
     
  16. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0

    True enough, but, that idea is not fully realized on this planet yet due to the fact that a large majority of the planet still uses labels to identify the different poeple on this planet. So until there is a universal accpetance of the fact that there is only a "human" "race", "race" can and will be applied when dealing with issues involving people.

    I do however await the Era when the whole planet will unify and become the "human race" with no borders or boundires.
    :cool:
     
  17. YO-ELEVEN-11

    YO-ELEVEN-11 Watcher

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    I could not agree more with your thoughts here. In the world we live in today, if we like it or not, "race" does a play a factor in a persons exsistence on this planet. The qestions is not if "race" plays a factor in ones religious choice, but how much it plays in the process.

    Any thoughts?
     
  18. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,924
    Likes Received:
    1
    How can we discuss race without having racial labels? I'll tell you what I think, but first I need to understand the question. How do you define race? Give me a list of races. Are we talking White, Brown, Black? Color classification system with subcategories? What?

    I'm an American, but I'm of Scandinavian descent. I wonder if there's some sort of cultural marker inherent in that. Like, am I slightly predisposed toward elements of religion or spirituality that are more Scandinavian-ish? Maybe. I know I don't have a yin for Celtic stuff like my wife or some of my somewhat Pagany white friends. I do like Danish furniture and blue-eyed blonds.:)

    But then again, I've got a real affinity for the blues and R and B stuff with roots in the gospel music of the black church. I don't know where that came from. And I really like African style music with that cool zulu guitar sound that Paul Simon helped bring over from S. Africa at the end of the aparthied era. And I really dig rajastani singing and meditational music from India ala Ravi Shankar et al. Don't know how that snuck into me either.

    I still think we should define what race is or give up using the term.

    Chris
     
  19. cavalier

    cavalier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    0
    Expert researchers claim about 72%



    Erm, I think a huge factor, but only in the sense that race by and large determines what culture, and therefore, by and large, what thought system you are brought up in.
     
  20. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,613
    Likes Received:
    81
    The question is, is race an active or a passive aspect with regard to one's religious practice? IMHO, cultural environment plays the active part, whereas any genetic tendancies are a naturally passive factor, unless the counscious choice is made to activate the race factor, and make a big deal out of it. JMHO.
     

Share This Page