Re: Life Duty Death

Joseph Askew (
Tue, 19 Sep 1995 23:56:06 GMT

In article <43kmsb$> (Raven (J. Singleton)) writes:

>No, not all of them, by any means. While there are varieties of Buddhism
>(Lamaism etc) and crossovers like Shan / Zen, there are also Confucian and
>Taoist beliefs without Buddhism, a good many complete atheists, and even
>some Christians, Jews, and Muslims, among native Chinese peoples. You seem
>completely unaware of this diversity, which undermines your claimed knowledge.

I am not going to spend more than five minutes arguing with
you over this as you clearly don't have a clue what you are
talking about. There is virtually no such thing as a Chinese
who is either Daoist or Confucian or Buddhist without any
influence or belief in the other two. Chinese take what they
like from all three and ignore what they have no use for. But
when asked to describe themselves the majority of Chinese will
opt for "Buddhist" alone if they have to chose one. There are
not a good many atheists or rather historically there have been
few, we cannot tell how many there are now thanks to the CCP
but there is no reason to think there are large numbers. There
are some Muslims, enough to be classed as an ethnic minority
of their own and get a star on the PRC flag but these are Hui
not Han and hence difficult to call Chinese (even though they
are) The numbers of Christians and Jews is neglible.

>>>What dialect do you speak? Mandarin? Yue? Wu? Hakka? Xiang? Gan?
>>>Minbei? Minnan? Do you have any skill with the WRITTEN language? How
>>>many characters do you know?

>> I speak Mandarin of course

>Oh, hardly "of course".

Of course it is of course. If you had been paying attention
or knew anything about the teaching of Chinese.

>If I'd tested you on the "national" dialect, you
>might then have come back with a claim that you spoke only, say, Cantonese.

I might but then unlike you I have a close affinity to the truth.

>> and half the dialects you list are
>> not Chinese dialects but separate languages.

>Since they are languages used in China, you might conceivably have meant one.

Yeah right.

>(The spoken "dialects" INCLUDE "separate languages"; only the written form
>is the same language across China, and even the Japanese use its characters.)

It isn't the same written form exactly. Learn something about
Cantonese before wasting my time. But yes Cantonese is a separate
language even if it is classified by the Chinese as a fangyin.

>But I notice that you don't. Well, let's give you a while to go to the
>library, get some books on Chinese, and start teaching yourself what you
>claim to know already -- or, more likely, go ask someone who DOES know.

No I don't. Nor am I going to come to think of it.

>But you've just shown that you DIDN'T know what you claimed to know.

Not at all. I've shown that I am not going to waste time
playing with a fool.

>For those who wonder about the test questions Joseph refused to answer:

>What animal is ten thousand? A scorpion. There had been no written
>character for the number, but there had been several for "scorpion",
>one of which was pronounced the same way as the number ("wan") -- so
>the character was redefined to mean "ten thousand", although still drawn
>with the claws on top and the tail curled up on the other side of its body.

Well those with real dictionaries will be able to trivially
check that in fact the Chinese for scorpion is xie1zi not
wan4 and wan4 all by itself lacks the zi4 on the end which
usually indicates you are talking about an object like an
animal. Nor does wan4 have claws on top but a grass radical
and is clearly missing the insect radical as you might expect
if it referred to an insect. So much for learning Chinese from
_Reader's Digest_.

>What tree is a doctor? Well, I'll let Joseph have another chance to answer
>the specifics, but it's a fruit tree AND a water source. This usage comes
>from an old Chinese novel; it's a metaphor of the healing qualities --
>rather like calling one's friend-among-enemies an "oasis", or one's lover
>a "garden of delights". So, Joseph, what kind of FRUIT tree is a doctor?

I can't say I even care.

>Numbers and the term for "doctor" are pretty basic vocabulary. It's quite
>odd, don't you think, that Joseph didn't know these, yet claims to know so
>much Chinese that he can say what is NOT written about the concept "karma"?

Numbers are an easy concept. One you have failed. The Chinese
have several terms for doctor but so what? None of them I can
think of is a type of tree and I am not interested in even
thinking about it.