27 December 2006

On Buddhism, as a supposedly benign religion

  • Dec 27, 2006

On Buddhism, as a supposedly benign religion

Buddhism doesn't believe in a supreme creator God, and different sects believe different things, but there are (in some versions and texts) other worldly or other dimensional beings, be they Gods, angels, spirits, or whatever.
They also believe in literal Karma, of being re-born indefinitely.
It still involves meta-physics, and it still involves faith.


Buddhism specifically instructs its followers to refrain from "Sexual Misconduct" (although it does not specify what that means) and Buddhist monks and nuns are expected to remain celibate, just as Christian ones are.  Gender roles are determined and rigid.

Many westerners seem to have a view of Buddhism which would apply better to Taoism.
It is really more of a philosophy than a religion.

Personally, I find "spirituality" to be just as silly as religion.  It requires a denial of both the physical senses and common sense. I believe that the thought is basically complex emotion, emotion is complex instinct, instinct is complex stimulus-response, stimulus-response is complex biology, biology is complex chemistry, chemistry is complex physics… and that's all there is.
But if some people can experience a personal higher power, or interconnectedness, or whatever, maybe people feel a sign that the Book of Mormon is really true once they read it and pray.
The Mormons make a significant and deliberate point of saying that every individual should turn to God themselves and ask whether their teachings are true, they don't ask that you just believe what they tell you.

I think individuals of all religions are expected to not just believe, but to feel it is true from personal experience.  Just look at the practitioners "speaking in tongues".  And they say that everyone, given a life of goodness and faith, can achieve salvation, not just the Prophets.
You can find people who are intelligent, who think critically, within every religion, no matter how stupid.  That's the thing about faith.

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