1 Post-modern American society is an affluent economy-driven world of disconnected individuals who work long hours to consume more and more. TV-shows, Facebook, American Dream, “Messiah complex” on the level of external policy are the realities that are consciously or instinctively accepted by a vast majority of big city population. These theses are somewhat subjective and harsh, however they have been in the air for quite a long time to dismiss them. The counterweight to the utter materialism was the hippy subculture in the sixties and simultaneous interest in oriental spiritual practices that has been developing ever since. One of the most popular and attractive to the Western minds happened to be Buddhism for a number of reasons. First, it doesn’t have the Creator; all that happens to us is the result of our actions, the so-called law of karma or the law of cause and effect (“karma” translated from Sanskrit as “action”). The modern scientific mentality readily accepted the refined philosophy of Buddhism. However, most of the population remained Christian and the American dream continued to be cherished as the following basic values were promoted and became firmly rooted and often marginalized. Three of these, both on the level of a citizen and the nation, are often in opposition to the values of Buddhism and, as Buddhists say, result in bad karma.
First value is individualism or the achievement orientation. The urge to pave one’s way and make career at any cost has become the nation’s mentality. However, the self-centeredness and aggressive behavior as part of business environment is karmic evil and harming a person even in a socially acceptable way (aggressive competition at work, placing success over morality) will ripen in the future as some disease, loss or failure.
Connected with individualism is orientation towards materialism. People live in the world of things and justify their aggressiveness by the natural necessity to earn. Karmic effect, according to Buddhism, will come nonetheless.
Export of democracy is the extrapolation of the previous two phenomena to the national level. Americans, as a nation, believe that carrying democracy (along with values of capitalism, individualism and materialism) to other countries such as Lebanon and Syria justifies the casualties among civilians. Buddhism values life above all that.
2 Before considering Hinduism tenets in comparison with the Testaments, it is worthwhile to compare the two belief systems in general. The façade is quite similar. Both in Hinduism and Christianity the service is conducted in a dead language that is no longer used in modern communication. In Hinduism, it is Sanskrit, in Orthodox Christianity – Old Slavonic, the Catholics use Latin. During ceremonies, both religions have widely used aromatic oils and resins. Icons of saints adorn every Christian church. The Hindu temples are identical in this respect. Usually at the end of the service the congregation can get some ritual sanctified food. In Christianity, the faithful light candles in front of the icons. In Hinduism, oil lamps perform the same function function. The perception of one and only God exists both in Christianity and Hinduism. Then there is the idea of the trinity. In Christianity, and Hinduism there is the holy faith in the coming of the Messiah of the same type as Jesus Christ. In Hinduism, it will be called Kalki. Belief in the apocalypse or the end of the world is characteristic of both. In Christianity, the soul after death gets goes either to heaven or hell, depending on the earthly deeds. Hinduism is based on the doctrine of Samsara - "the chain of rebirths" or reincarnation. However, there are fundamental differences in ideology. Hinduism is a religion of humility, it’s adepts are indifferent to their present plight. It is not necessary to change anything, strive for a better location, perform the duties prescribed by his caste well and that’s it. In Christianity one is encouraged to knock on doors to change your life for the better. From all the above it can be concluded that, despite the similarity between religious rites of the two systems of ideological and philosophical terms, they are hardly compatible from ethical positions despite the similarity of declared principles.
3 African peoples are connected to their land. To the soil where the dead go and everything is born of again and again. The cult of ancestors also ties them to the land. The “Life in Community” concept of African traditional religious practices is also centered on the land that belongs to their numerous families for many generations. Due to “balkanization” and the rule of white man, the land is considered to be of paramount value. Clans and big families have their territories and they are limited in moving around the country. The reasons are financial and spatial. Many Africans can’s afford to move to cities and have to hold on to their farms that they cultivate collectively and live off of.
USA is the land of professionals. If you are good at something you are free to move around the country. An individual is relatively free and there are ample opportunities to migrate. Rare professionals can move around the world and earn almost anywhere. However, America is also a land of farmers that are tied to land in much the same way as Africans. So individualism works for college graduates, the countrymen are largely dependent on their communities.