"Cultural additivity" and how the values and norms of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism co-exist, interact, and influence Vietnamese society: A Bayesian analysis of long-standing folktales, using R and Stan
Every year, the Vietnamese people reportedly burned about 50,000 tons of joss papers, which took the form of not only bank notes, but iPhones, cars, clothes, even housekeepers, in hope of pleasing the dead. The practice was mistakenly attributed to traditional Buddhist teachings but originated in fact from China, which most Vietnamese were not aware of. In other aspects of life, there were many similar examples of Vietnamese so ready and comfortable with adding new norms, values, and beliefs, even contradictory ones, to their culture. This phenomenon, dubbed "cultural additivity", prompted us to study the co-existence, interaction, and influences among core values and norms of the Three Teachings--Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism--as shown through Vietnamese folktales. By applying Bayesian logistic regression, we evaluated the possibility of whether the key message of a story was dominated by a religion (dependent variables), as affected by the appearance of values and anti-values pertaining to the Three Teachings in the story (independent variables).