Author Topic: Is Buddhism A Religion?  (Read 258 times)

Online IdleChater

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Is Buddhism A Religion?
« on: April 19, 2017, 11:31:51 am »
Is Buddhism a religion?

First, just what is a religion. If you Google the work "religion" you get these definitions

   1.) the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

   2.) a particular system of faith and worship.

   3.) a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.

In the case of Buddhism, #1 is clearly out.  There is no recognized superhuman controlling power.  With #2 we're getting warmer.  Buddhism is a system of faith, but whether or not Buddhists "worship" anything is debatable.  #3 is pretty much spot on.  Based on that definition we can say that Buddhism is, in fact a religion.

If we Google "Buddhism"  we see that Wikipedia states "Buddhism is an Indian religion...".

Dictionary.com states "a religion ... "

Merriam Webster says "a religion"

Even Urban Dictionary calls it a religion, among other things.

And to be fair, Buddhism is a lot of things to a lot of people.  To some it's a philosophy, to others, a life style and so on.

An Ism as in Buddhism offers certain latitude.  According to  a Meriam Webster definition, an ism can be:
   1.) manner of action or behavior characteristic of a (specified) person or thing
   2.) doctrine, theory, or religion
   3.) adherence to a system or a class of principle
So, Buddhism could be any number of things.
   
It would seem, although I have no proof, that the vast majority of Buddhists in the world, and non-Buddhists observing Buddhism treat or view it as a religion. If our's is a system of faith, perhaps worship, a puruit or interest to which we assign supreme importance, then yes, Buddhism is a religion.

Offline Solodris

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Re: Is Buddhism A Religion?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 05:01:28 am »
It seems the etymology of the word religion ranges from devotion and community of moral obligation. Then indeed, Buddhism is a religion.

Secular Buddhism though, puts emphasise on the philosophical aspect of the Buddha's teachings.

Dharma practice in general should be considered religious.

What it means to be a secular practitioner seems to me to be somewhat ambigious.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 05:14:45 am by Solodris »

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is Buddhism A Religion?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 07:23:02 am »
Secular Buddhism though, puts emphasise on the philosophical aspect of the Buddha's teachings.

That's what the say.  They also say they're trying to take the religion out of Buddhism.  If you take the religion out of a religion, what are you left with?

Nature abhores a vacuum.


Offline Solodris

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Re: Is Buddhism A Religion?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 08:09:37 am »
They also say they're trying to take the religion out of Buddhism.  If you take the religion out of a religion, what are you left with?

I suppose Buddhist philosophy as a form of education could present moral or psychological dilemmas that would provoke the innate Buddha-nature to manifest. It is after all the religion most compatible with science.

I was introduced to Buddhism as a secular atheist, inspired by the emotional benefits I came to embrace it eventually as a way of life, as a religion.

Practicing behavioral patterns and responses superior to cognitive behavioral therapy while presenting the approach of scientific empiricism as the approach to understand philosophy, is pretty attractive to egos's afflicted with religion-/worshiping phobia.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is Buddhism A Religion?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 08:49:29 am »
They also say they're trying to take the religion out of Buddhism.  If you take the religion out of a religion, what are you left with?

I suppose Buddhist philosophy as a form of education could present moral or psychological dilemmas that would provoke the innate Buddha-nature to manifest. It is after all the religion most compatible with science.

What difference does compatability with science make?

That assigns "supreme importance" to science, right?  That places science in the realm of religion, where, we'd all agree, it doesn't belong.  Buddhism doesn't need science at all.  Buddhism has a 2500-year track record of enlightened beings.  That record speaks for itself.  No need for science, there.


Quote
I was introduced to Buddhism as a secular atheist,

Is there any other kind?   :teehee:


Quote
inspired by the emotional benefits I came to embrace it eventually as a way of life, as a religion.

Practicing behavioral patterns and responses superior to cognitive behavioral therapy while presenting the approach of scientific empiricism as the approach to understand philosophy, is pretty attractive to egos's afflicted with religion-/worshiping phobia.

I wouldn't know, but then I'd not sure what you're trying to say there.  Care to clarify?

Offline Solodris

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Re: Is Buddhism A Religion?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 09:22:49 am »
Care to clarify?

I was rather going along the lines that science need Buddhism. Making it more accessible and adoptable into other fields.

Parts of Buddhist mindfulness have been borrowed into western therapy, this is one example that make it seem like modern society is benefiting from Buddhist teachings.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Is Buddhism A Religion?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 11:12:49 am »
Care to clarify?

I was rather going along the lines that science need Buddhism. Making it more accessible and adoptable into other fields.

Parts of Buddhist mindfulness have been borrowed into western therapy, this is one example that make it seem like modern society is benefiting from Buddhist teachings.

That is a good example of society blessed by religion.  The same can be said about the Sistine Chapel. 

 


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