Proselytization the Western way

From a comment by twistedone151:

I also recall a book I once read on religion in Japan made a contrast between proselytization methods by small sects and religions in Japan versus those in the West (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and so on). The author noted that Western methods begin with Scripture, and with attempts to persuade others of the correctness of the doctrine, and with correct action (orthopraxy) following as a consequence of correct belief (orthodoxy). In contrast, Japanese pamphlets often share specific prayers, meditation techniques, or rituals, with exhortations to try them and see what benefits result; one begins with orthopraxy, and orthodoxy follows. (Note also the Confucian emphasis on proper observance of rites and rituals, which even the materialist philosopher Xunzi emphasized.)

Western methods begin with Scripture, and with attempts to persuade others of the correctness of the doctrine.

Note the present tense.



14 responses to “Proselytization the Western way

  1. laofmoonster May 27, 2014 at 5:00 am

    On a more general level, Western thought looks for deductive rules that are necessary and sufficient, and Eastern thought is more like Duck typing: “If it looks like it’s correct, and it acts like it’s correct, it’s probably correct.”

    Richard Nisbett might be better known in the HBD-sphere as a major critic of the Bell Curve, but his cross-cultural psychology research summarized in “The Geography of Thought” set the stage for recent work like Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind” and WEIRD people.

  2. kontextmaschine May 27, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Japan is the classic study field for cults because they westernized without ever Christianizing because they progromed the Christians so well it worked so that’s all held neutral

    The real message of the metastudies was that the subject and the content and the method don’t matter at all, it’s all a function of man-dollar-hours invested

    • nydwracu May 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Yeah, what struck me about it though is that “orthodoxy before orthopraxy” is the same form used in Western politics.

      Taking it a step further, Roissy, the get-swole people, xoxohth, that sphere, my impression is that they reverse it, play up the negative consequences of Universalist orthopraxy and advocate their own in its place, and then rationalize it. And then there’s the secular-trad argument (which exists in bits and pieces but hasn’t been fully put together yet AFAIK) that no political idea can generate an orthopraxy that doesn’t go insane in certain major ways so it’s best to just have orthodoxy be limited to going through the motions of religion and some thede-binding stuff and then for everything else orthopraxy has to come first, preferably with as few rational ideas behind it as possible, and preferably with an outlet that lets the people who really can’t conform ‘drop out’ of society instead of coming into conflict with it. (Zizek’s thing about how the system includes methods of transgression against the system, and so on.)

  3. pthug May 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Where on the orthopraxy orthodoxy axis are various kinds of Prog proselytisation? There are important prog books which You Should Read, and university is largely about that, but don’t activists largely spread the seed of justice by shouting at people, giving them various mantras to assay for effectiveness and telling them what to do? Especially low-class progs who don’t go to university, or low-functioning tumblr types?

    Unwarranted speculation: This is the Maoists’ fault.

    • pthug May 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Scratch Mao — fascists and neoreactionaries work the same way.

      • pthug May 28, 2014 at 11:40 pm

        Well, the fash do, at least.

        You do have a lot of slogans, though, and the order that I see is ‘try thinking about things *this way* — isn’t that a mindfuck!’ and *then* ‘BUY MY TORY PAPER’.

        There’s not much you actually *have* to believe to be a neoreactionary, a lot of the shared opposition to progs is aesthetic. and the pill metaphor –which is what your more lumpen orbiters have grasped onto — [also how many of you have actually read all the ‘canon’ (i.e. what Moldbug recommended one time and which some people agree are cool but not essential or anything)] is pure ‘taste and see the Right is good’.

      • nydwracu May 29, 2014 at 2:09 am

        Right, but it can’t be orthopraxy if it’s not praxis. The “leave progressivism through game” thing, on the other hand, is. I think Jack Donovan said he was working on the alt-right equivalent of that a while ago, but whatever it ends up being, it will look very different, for obvious reasons.

      • pthug May 29, 2014 at 2:45 am

        why isn’t it praxis

      • nydwracu May 29, 2014 at 4:52 am

        “Look at these internal contradictions within progressivism! Also monarchies were stable and FDR was a commie!”

      • pthug May 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

        p good moldbug impression, but i don’t get the point

    • nydwracu May 28, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      That requires the addition of a second axis: there’s orthopraxy vs. orthodoxy, and there’s “try it and see” vs. “this is the right thing to do and if you don’t do it you’re evil” — empiricism vs. moralism, maybe. While low-class prog proselytization is based on orthopraxy, it’s still not in the same mode as what’s described in the quote: you don’t get meditation techniques or whatever that you are to try and test for effectiveness, but things that you absolutely must be aware of in order to avoid various forms of Being An Objectively Evil Person.

      To analogize to diets: paleo is orthodoxy-first and empiricist, Seth Roberts’ thing is orthopraxy-first and empiricist, and veganism is orthodoxy-first and moralist. I am not sure if there is an orthopraxy-first and moralist diet; maybe the juice cleanse stuff. It’s not moralist per se — it appeals purely to disgust reactions — but, as we see with progressivism, the line between appealing to morality and appealing to disgust reactions gets blurry enough that it’s probably best to make the distinction be about disgust reactions in general.

      • pthug May 29, 2014 at 12:43 am

        I think you are missing a whole bunch of prog/Leftist proselytechniques, perhaps because, to simplify a little, you have always hated progs and considered them outthedy. To complexify, your first indoctrination into progressivism was by some obviouswrang-wrangs. You could see they were fucked up, were out to get you and whatever they were smoking was to be avoided.

        The progs who tried to get me first were not so obviously fucked up, were not out to get me, and the impression I got is that mostly they were fun to fuck with because they had a doctrine to teach. I missed out on all the imprinting you got. In retrospect, I was basically in agreement with them, but was less doctrinaire about it, but was probably *even more bananas than most of them*. So the account I am about to give is informed by this — for Progs, perhaps too hardkkkore, and for Leftists, probably too full of a dangerous mindset likely to lead deviationism and fascism.

        The appeal of Leftism in peaceful times is, as many detractors have pointed out, the psychodrama of it all; and that it is good practice for times of war.

        It is also very much like Tantric Buddhism. The babyprog-tier ‘wow you said a thing and here’s what’s wrong with that and here’s how you should be aware’ can flower into a stalin-tier ability to see, almost mystically, just how *violent* history is at *all scales*, from transitions between modes of production, to everyday interactions between ordinary people.

        Every act has a diachronic chain of horrors behind it, and a synchronic pantheon of Wrathful deities sitting on top of it, laughing at how he, his, you and yoursare implicated in it. This is terrible, and you would have to be a masochist to want to encourage this in yourself, and other people, but you are also armed with magic vajralike weapons to turn the Wrathful deities into Peaceful ones, and to break the chains.

        You don’t get meditation techniques — but to properly encourage a mindset like this, you naturally need a *lot* of mindfucking. Reading long books by Harvey might do this for heavy third-circuit types, but most people need extra help. The ritual purpose of demonstrations is obvious here, especially if you are fighting people who are similarly fucked and so *get it* [i.e. the fash]. The parable method is another favourite — and it is a mainstay of shitty prog websites too. You are given stories to think about — they can be stories of some workers much like you, who had an industrial dispute solved by the application of Marxist thought [clever argumentation *and* bullying], or they can be the story of some oppressed fucker in a far-off land. You are given some basic patterns and are encouraged to ruminate and look for things in the world which match this pattern, and to stir shit up.

        Success happens when a pattern crystallises: you gain a little more mastery of the charnel-house which is History — this is a pattern which recurs again and again, and when it comes for you, when it comes for your comrades, you will know how to deal with it. Feeling confident and doomed like this is what it means to “go fey”, and it is a remarkable feeling. I don’t know if Progs get themselves worked up enough, or go deep enough, to feel it properly, and in an actual revolutionary war, it must be quite another thing. It feels very much *like* a meditative jhana, especially when the feeling is about something abstract, and there are some striking parallels between practitioners of whatever it is I am describing and things like .

  4. Contaminated NEET June 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    That’s funny. I was in S. Korea (it doesn’t get more Confucian) a few years ago, and there was some cult active that would try to recruit any white face on the street. They tried me a couple of times, and they would always open with scriptural arguments and very good English.

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