Will Asians ever become innovative in technology?
Herman Kahn, an Asia-watcher and director of the US-based Hudson Institute, explains the difference between Western and Asian approaches to science and technology. An excerpt from Asia 2000 magazine:
It's no accident that industrialization started with the Western culture. That's partly a religious issue. In the Western Old Testament, man is given dominion over nature. Nature is there to serve him. In Confucian societies, you're supposed to fit into nature. In the Buddhist societies you're supposed to be subservient to nature. It makes it very hard to master technology if you're not given the right to do it.
In Asian cultures, almost every religion has the concept of ''many mountains up to God, many roads up each mountain.'' The idea of a critical experiment, to determine the distinction between a true and false theory, just couldn't be formed in an Asian culture. But the traditional Western concept is ''one mountain up to God, one road, and I'm on it.'' With that concept, critical experiment is very easy to understand - ''Am I right or or am I wrong?'' Unless you have that kind of attitude, you are never going to discover science.m