User:Jahsonic/Religions of hardship and religions of plenty  

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Rice terrace in The Philippines, an example of abundance
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Rice terrace in The Philippines, an example of abundance

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Western religions are typified by hardship and austerity stemming from a harsh desert climate, while Eastern religion is one of abundance of low-hanging fruit in lush forests and valleys.

Take this painting Christ in the Desert[1] depicting Jesus in a desolate landscape. It is clear that such an arid climate, where a day spent without looking for food or water is a risk for your life (see human life in deserts), will lead to a religion that is unforgiving. That is why the Abrahamic religions are sometimes called desert monotheism. Paradoxically, the Garden of Eden was a land of plenty, as depicted here in this detail of Garden of Eden[2] by Lucas Cranach.

Eastern religions developed in the Cockaigne, the land of plenty, where the natural environment and vegetation was plentiful, so its religions are geared far less towards punishment and more towards forgiveness and leniency.

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