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Discussion with Christians about Christianity

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This weekend I have stayed a night at kansai Semiar House in Kyoto, and had an intensive discussion with clergymen, professors and physicians. From the evening of Friday to the noon of Saturday, we continued discussing about Christianity and philosophy of life. I am not Christian (I am agnostic), but the other participants were all Christians, hence, the discussion became very interesting and stimulating.

I asked them many things and they sincerely replied to my questions. Sometimes their responses were moving. I asked them what do they think would happen when they die. Some of them replied that their body and soul will disappear (collapse) when they die, but they believe the rebirth of themselves after their death. I asked why do you believe it. They said that Jesus said the rebirth will occur, hence they can believe it. They didn't say they could prove it, but just said they believe it. As an agnostic I had a good impression of their way of talking about death. I could feel their religious tolerance toward other religions and agnostics.

They wanted to be unwavering about their faiths, but at the same time, they strongly hope to respect other value systems, hence, our discussion centered around the question whether it is possible to believe their God as the only one God and also truly respect, from the bottom of their hearts, other religious or non-religious values. We couldn't reach any conclusions, but a participant said that the fact that there is no logical answer to this question should be considered, paradoxically, as a sign of hope. I was struck with this idea. This should be a theme of our philosophy of life. We also talked about our own personal experiences on life and death.

In the afternoon, just after the intensive discussion, I gave a public lecture on biotechnology and life studies in another room in the seminar house. Questions from the audience were interesting. And after that, I met Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner again, who was among the audience. She is a specialist on East Asian studies. She is now researching regenerative medicine in Asian countries and its impact on their societies and cultures. We moved to the center of Kyoto city by taxi, and had some drinks, and she interviewed me about human cloning and regenerative medicine. This was also an intensive discussion. Asian regenerative medicine is a stimulating research field now (imagine, for example, cloning research in Korea, advanced medicine in China and Singapore, etc.). She said she will chair a session on Asian regenerative medicine and social sciences in World Conference of Bioethics, in Beijing, this summer.

What a busy weekend.

As to Japanese regulations on human cloning, and their debate on ethical issues raised by those technologies, please see my paper, The Ethics of Human Cloning and the Sprout of Human Life (2006).

Photo: A cafe near my apartment

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

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Comments

hy masahiro, what a busy weekend? it´s interesting that jeapanese christians believe in rebirth, here in europe they believe in hell and heaven and the judgement day! after death, your body is vanishing, but your soul will live for eternity, that´s the general christian belief here. of course these are dogmas! it´s a kind of sin to demand proofs for them. I downloaded your paper, and will soon take time to read it. I have difficulties to read online much, and in last time generally. don´t know why, wish you a nice time tomorrow here is a free day due to 1.may that is the workers movement day here or so, thanks your arash

I used the word "rebirth" but I don't know whether this is the correct translation. What they meant was the rebirth (resurrection) on the day of the Last Judgment, and this must be the dogma of Christianity.

yeah probably, I thought the may be influenced by buddihsm, but that seems not to be the case. thanks masahiro, seem sto me it´s hard to translate japanese into english in some manners.
Beside I have a question, I have a blog on philosophy, cassirer.blogspot.com , I would like to add a link to your page, am I allowed to do???? look at the blog and see if you would like or not! I will not add a link until I receive a positive language. thanks for your care, stay well, if you don´t want your blog to be "advertised" then it´s also ok. arash

read your essay, very profound, thanks, arash

Hi, arash. I visited your blog and found interesting. Please put a link to my blog. I will put a link to yours, too.

thanks masahiro, I will only speak about philsophy, so no personal stuff, thanks for adding me to your blog, I will now go and put you in my blog. thanks a lot, arash

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