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Posted by Harvey on July 17, 2003 02:30:41 UTC

I'm only saying that my experience is that happiness seems to vary in each locale. My experience has been that many Buddhists tend to be repressed in their ability to express themselves outside the norms of their peers and their elders. This, I feel, has a draining effect on the human spirit, especially the youth. Many Asian countries are finding their youth seek out Western forms of creativity and free expression, which tend to be a little more liberating to the self. Denying the self might work for the dominating male of a society, but for minorities, or for women, or for the youth, such limited expressions allowed by their religion can crush their spirit. Fundamentalist Christianity has the same problem to a certain extent, but obviously Christianity as a whole is more self oriented with its emphasis on the individual.

I think all religions bring out positive aspects, just that I see Christianity as more liberating and therefore this has translated into a Western culture which isn't as intolerant as other cultures.

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