Interview - Martin heidegger and Thai monk bhikku maha mani - English subtitles - Part 2/2
In the West people without religion have often been identified as communists, others though, living according to religious rules are being called insane. How do you think about that? The assertions that people without religion are communists and people with religion are insane, are both accusations that, I believe, can be cleared if one thinks about what is meant here by religion? Religion means, as the word says, a bonding-back to powers, forces and laws, that supersede human capability there you can even talk about an atheistic religion, namely Buddhism, that knows no God and is nevertheless a religion, that contains in itself a bonding. I would also say that people like communists have a religion, that is, the belief in science. They unconditionally believe in modern science. And this unconditional belief, that is, the trust in the certainty of the results of the sciences, is a belief and is in a certain way something which goes beyond the human being, hence it is a religion. I would say that no human being is without religion and that every human being is in a way beyond himself, that is, insane. Should we abolish religion and philosophy that despite their multi-millennia long existence never influenced human life, as they demanded and because religion and philosophy seems to be contradictory? We cannot and should not abolish thinking and belief because in their long history they did not reach, what they tried to achieve. We cannot abolish thought and belief because human essence is finite. Because in his essence man is always compelled to try anew. And especially at this time, I would say, and going back to your first question that a reflection on what the human being is, is necessary, now with the danger that man is at the mercy of technology and one day will be made a controlled machine You also gave another comment, relating it to your own country In which you said that your country and people belongs to the underdeveloped countries. If one talks about underdeveloped, one always has to ask to which end development is thought. According to modern European and American understanding of development, it is at first a technological view. From this standpoint I would say that your country, because of its old and continuous traditions, is highly developed. the Americans, on the other hand, with all their technology and atomic bombs are underdeveloped. Is there a way to harmonize people and could this way be translated into real global situations, such as that of East- and Westberlin? This question is so general that we first have to differentiate between the political conditions for a possible unity and the human emotional conditions for the gathering of human beings. For both conditions, I would say, because of our entire historical situation And because of the separation of human beings into different religions, different philosophies and different relationships to science, there is no common ground today, for immediate and simple understanding I think we need to differentiate between a European country with this history and past and a country, where you have your home. So that I would have to say that if there is any possibility at all for understanding in the foreseeable future it can only happen if, apart from political conditions, if human beings from all sides find self-consideration But this self-consideration, as I already mentioned in your other questions, is made difficult, that not only in Germany, but in all of Europe in general, we do not have any clear, common and simple relation to reality and to ourselves. That is the big problem of the Western world and part of the reason of the confusion of opinions in all different areas.