chapter  9
18 Pages

Moral values, ethics, and religious beliefs

A comprehensive review of the morals, ethics, religious beliefs and practices of east and west is beyond the scope of this book. Changes in ideas, however, and new applications of them are reflected in science fiction, and in any case it is normal for each new age to reflect upon its traditional beliefs and practices in the light of its new circumstances. The more profound the change in the circumstances the greater will be the urge to reinterpret and review them, and this indeed is one of the functions performed by science fiction, in its role as the literature of a changing society. Japanese ideas are changing, just as western ideas are changing. But this does not necessarily mean that Japanese ideas have to change in the direction of western ideas. Rather it is more appropriate to say that new Japanese ideas are emerging out of past Japanese ideas in the light of Japan's new circumstances, while new western ideas are emerging out of old western ideas in the light of the west's new circumstances. Similarities are only likely to be found in so far as the new circumstances of Japan are similar to the new circumstances of the west. But even then the modernized updates in Japanese thinking are outgrowths of Japan's past, not the west's.