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Old 05-02-2008, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
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I have seen several posts which list Buddhism as a religion, in my past I have looked at the teachings of Buddha as Philosophy, free from the burden of primitive gods. To answer my own question I went to the web for some research and have found a debate which seems endless. I fall into the philosophy line of thought, and feel the conversions of the teachings of Buddha into a religion are counter to his desire. I also have a problem with a religion with no god or supernatural deity. The Debate brings up several questions which may shed light on the classification.

1- Can Buddhism be a religion with out a god?

2- Are there two form of Buddhism one a philosophy based teachings and the other a hybrid form draped in the cloth of Religion?

3- Are we allowing the teachings of Buddha to be turned into a religious fetish?

4- By Buddha’s own teaching would Buddhism as a religion negate his teachings and desire?

5- Is a religion more than faith, and a belief in a god.
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Old 05-02-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Depends on how you define religion. This part of the world has a different way of looking at things. Most Asian "religions" do have a disguised set of beliefs like a religion, but they look at their beliefs more as "a philosophy of life". As an atheist, I have a philosophy of life, but you won't see people calling me religious.
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technobarbie View Post
Depends on how you define religion. This part of the world has a different way of looking at things. Most Asian "religions" do have a disguised set of beliefs like a religion, but they look at their beliefs more as "a philosophy of life". As an atheist, I have a philosophy of life, but you won't see people calling me religious.
I would fall in the same box as you, but if Buddhism is a religion due to it philosophy than why would Atheist not be a religion due to our philosophy. I am not overjoyed with being pushed into a religious box when I have spent a lifetime trying to send those boxes to the recycle bin.
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Wu Dang Mountain
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Religion is just philosophy with a LOT more rules...
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Old 05-02-2008, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Piedmont NC
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In the film I used in my World Literature classes, Buddhism was discussed as one of the world's 6 major religions. Surprised me, because I assumed it was a philosophy, or a way of life, too. It is considered the world's fastest-growing religion today, isn't it? I think it's also hailed as the religion to which most young people are drawn, too -- like the 20-30 year olds' choice?
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncracer View Post
I would fall in the same box as you, but if Buddhism is a religion due to it philosophy than why would Atheist not be a religion due to our philosophy. I am not overjoyed with being pushed into a religious box when I have spent a lifetime trying to send those boxes to the recycle bin.
Well I don't classify Buddhism as a religion.I think people in the west get this confused, because they don't under Asian culture and history. I admit I only have read a few books myself. People make this mistake by injecting their western thought process into something that is not there. We do the same thing when we read about history.

As far as atheistim goes, I'm pretty sure you ran across people wanting to classify atheistim as another so-called religion. The problem is that the only thing all atheist have in common is that we don't believe in god. We all have different opinions about various subjects and all have different "philosophies" about life. In atheism there is no single leader or teacher. We also don't perform rituals, nor do we all try to achieve some psychological state of mind, or achieve a certain moralistic purity. Atheist do their own thing. Like the person said above, it's a philosophy with no rules and restrictions.

Last edited by technobarbie; 05-02-2008 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:10 PM
 
790 posts, read 3,904,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncracer View Post
I have seen several posts which list Buddhism as a religion, in my past I have looked at the teachings of Buddha as Philosophy, free from the burden of primitive gods. To answer my own question I went to the web for some research and have found a debate which seems endless. I fall into the philosophy line of thought, and feel the conversions of the teachings of Buddha into a religion are counter to his desire. I also have a problem with a religion with no god or supernatural deity. The Debate brings up several questions which may shed light on the classification.

1- Can Buddhism be a religion with out a god?

2- Are there two form of Buddhism one a philosophy based teachings and the other a hybrid form draped in the cloth of Religion?

3- Are we allowing the teachings of Buddha to be turned into a religious fetish?

4- By Buddha’s own teaching would Buddhism as a religion negate his teachings and desire?

5- Is a religion more than faith, and a belief in a god.
For this kind of discussion there needs to be an agreement ... a consensus ... on the definition of words.
How do we define the word "religion"?
How do we define the word "philosophy"?

Question #1 .... Define "religion"
Question #2 .... No.
Question #3 ..... who is "we" and No.
Question #4 ..... Truth is truth.
Question #5 ...... Define "religion".

The historical Buddha that you are referring to (and who most people think of when they think of "Buddha") gave thousands of different teachings to suit the needs of all humans.
A Buddha is an awakened being. Simply that. All sentient beings have Buddha nature. You do, I do, my dog does. Woof.
There are many, many, many (more than you can count) Buddhas!
Buddha was not a "Buddhist" and Jesus was not a "Christian".
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:41 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by technobarbie
Quote:
As far as atheistim goes, I'm pretty sure you ran across people wanting to classify atheistim as another so-called religion. The problem is that the only thing all atheist have in common is that we don't believe in god. We all have different opinions about various subjects and all have different "philosophies" about life. In atheism there is no single leader or teacher. We also don't perform rituals, nor do we all try to achieve some psychological state of mind, or achieve a certain moralistic purity. Atheist do their own thing. Like the person said above, it's a philosophy with no rules and restrictions.
Although I agree with you I still believe that atheism could be regarded as a personal religion with individual rituals. Rituals don’t have to do anything with a deity; a (historical or superstitious) tradition also qualifies as a ritual.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
4,348 posts, read 7,015,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyskye View Post
For this kind of discussion there needs to be an agreement ... a consensus ... on the definition of words.
How do we define the word "religion"?
How do we define the word "philosophy"?

Question #1 .... Define "religion"
Question #2 .... No.
Question #3 ..... who is "we" and No.
Question #4 ..... Truth is truth.
Question #5 ...... Define "religion".

The historical Buddha that you are referring to (and who most people think of when they think of "Buddha") gave thousands of different teachings to suit the needs of all humans.
A Buddha is an awakened being. Simply that. All sentient beings have Buddha nature. You do, I do, my dog does. Woof.
There are many, many, many (more than you can count) Buddhas!
Buddha was not a "Buddhist" and Jesus was not a "Christian".
Ok here is my answers and the continuation of my personal digging into this tread. I seem drawn to how the French socoligiest Emile Durkheim defined religion. It seem simple and unburden with the adjustmenst of modern man.
Answer 1 & 5: “A religion is a set of beliefs and practices, often centered upon specific supernatural and moral claims about reality, the cosmos, and human nature, and often codified as prayer, ritual, and religious law. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experience. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.” Émile Durkheim
Answer 3: If our culture is listing Buddhism as a religion than we seem to have two groups seeing the teachings in different views.
I like the teachings of Buddha, I see him as a man who shows us as an individual through his example, and shows us a path to person enter peace. I do not see him as more than a good teacher, a man not a god. He avoids leading us to a god, and actually teaches while breaking from his own Hindu religion. I think to understand the ability to be a good person has to be an individual not group activity.
The form of Buddhism I see forming today and calling itself a religion is more a social group. The gathering seems an effort to find a shortcut or to massage egos as they attempt to find the path to peace. I still question it as a religion, as I do not see a god, or the required mystic past needed to reach the true religion experience.
Answer 4: Truth should be truth unless the organized form twists the teachings to meet their own needs. This is the danger of converting Buddhism to a religion.
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Old 05-03-2008, 04:15 PM
 
272 posts, read 464,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricky D View Post
Originally Posted by technobarbie Although I agree with you I still believe that atheism could be regarded as a personal religion with individual rituals. Rituals don’t have to do anything with a deity; a (historical or superstitious) tradition also qualifies as a ritual.
What would constituent an atheist ritual? Specifically ceremonial rituals which are common in almost every major religion.
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