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   Author  Topic: Buddhism  (Read 641 times)
Beneficientor
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Buddhism
« on: 2004-08-30 00:26:36 »
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The CoV has an anti-religious (in the sense of dogma) flavour, but what is our opinion of Buddhism, specifically Zen Buddhism?

I ask because Buddhism is somewhat unique among 'religions'. Some have suggested that Buddhism, at its core, perhaps doesn't even qualify as a religion.

For example:

Buddhism has no God (The Buddha was a normal mortal human).

Buddhism, in its purest form, does not subscribe to the supernatural.

Buddhism lacks strict doctrines, per se.

Buddhist teachings are just that- guides. Buddhists are supposed to discover truths for themselves.

Buddhism makes no strictly unprovable assertions.

I refer to Zen Buddhism in particular, as that school is the least religious. Other schools of Buddhism, such as Tibetan Buddhism, have quasi-religious elements and worship the memory and teachings of the Buddha as a kind of God, in the sense of an enlightened being. Common Buddhism, or 'street Buddhism' employs mythical beings and spirits etc. taken from prior folklore.

The idea of Buddhism is to access truth by elevating oneself beyond worldly experience in order to discover that the self, in fact, does not exist; the concept of anatta.

In some ways this is comparable to science, but instead science looks outwards to find truth, whereas Buddhism looks inwards.

I think there is something to be said in Buddhism in that its memes, if it has any, are unusual. The memes of most religions procure hosts by offering them enticing promises- a place in heaven, an immortal soul, a benevolent all powerful God etc. Buddhism offers things many find disturbing and frightening:- no immortal soul, in fact no self. No promise of paradise, no ethical strictures. Most would be repulsed by this, and yet somehow Buddhism survives.

Opinions?
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David Lucifer
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Re:Buddhism
« Reply #1 on: 2004-09-01 13:44:19 »
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Buddhism looks very interesting and certainly the aspects that you list are commendable. Is there anything in the doctrine that might contradict science? Do buddhist believe (to the extent they believe anything) that there is no objective reality or that mind is primary over matter?
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Re:Buddhism
« Reply #2 on: 2004-09-09 00:52:04 »
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I have only recently become aware of the finer aspects of Buddhism, so I am perhaps unqualified to make detailed comment.

I simply find the premises of the "faith" unique and interestingly rational.

Take this,http://villa.lakes.com/cdpatton/Dharma/Basics/5-skandhas.html, for example, which I've just discovered.

Apparently it is one of Buddhism's important teachings, and it seems a fairly reasonable conceptual basis for how human beings operate, especially considering it was compiled centuries ago before modern science or the enlightenment took off, and on the basis of rational introspection in an otherwise deeply religious culture.

It's a simple paradigm, but so far, from what I'm learning, I'm impressed by Buddhist insight and lack of immaterial mysticism.
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