Author Topic: Buddhism isn't relativism  (Read 1031 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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Buddhism isn't relativism
« on: February 09, 2020, 01:56:48 pm »
Buddhism does not traditionally teach that all paths lead to the same mountain top. People of other faiths can have a fortunate rebirth, even into a heavenly realm. But Buddhism traditionally teaches that only the Buddha's teachings ultimately lead to enlightenment.

Buddhism isn't politically correct. Our feelings aren't more important than truth itself. Either the Buddha is the supremely awakened one or he isn't. Zen masters even gave their students a good whacking to snap them out of attachment to ignorance and delusion.

It is more respectful to both the Buddha and to people of other faiths to recognize doctrinal differences than reduce all truth to the lowest common denominator. In the blind men and the elephant parable, the king symbolizes the Buddha, who knows and sees reality just as it is.

Offline Mrs Malaprop

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 12:47:03 am »
I imagine the adherents of most religions would express a similar view. I'm not sure I understand the point of your post.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 12:40:27 pm »
Especially in the West, there's a common anything goes attitude towards traditional Buddhist teachings.

Online Chaz

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 05:12:28 pm »
Especially in the West, there's a common anything goes attitude towards traditional Buddhist teachings.

"Anything" is kinda vague.  Care to be more specific?

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2020, 09:17:46 pm »
Anything goes is a common figure of speech.

Online Chaz

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2020, 04:08:49 pm »
Anything goes is a common figure of speech.

So is the term "obtuse".

So, I'll rephrase.

By "anything goes", what do you mean in regard to western Buddhism?  Give some specific examples of that.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2020, 06:42:14 pm »
Probably the most glaring problem in Western Buddhism is a common denial or rejection of karma and rebirth.

Offline stevie

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 01:24:26 am »
Buddhism cannot be equated with relativism, yes, but nevertheless Buddha teaches that everything is relative.

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2020, 06:09:16 pm »
Buddhism cannot be equated with relativism, yes, but nevertheless Buddha teaches that everything is relative.

Yes, everything is relative, but as far as relativism goes, it really depends on justwhat you mean.  Relativism is defined as

Quote
the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute. ~ Oxford

That being true, then the growth of Buddhism, is very relativistic.  Everywhere Buddhism has gone, it has picked up local culture.  Tibetan Buddhism is nothing like Theravada, because different cultures are involved.  Given time, the same will apply here in the West.

My teacher described Buddhism as water.  It can be poured into a vessel and will hold that shape, but it is still water.

If there are those who can't rebirth or karma, let them be.  Buddhism isn't defined belief.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2020, 01:32:42 pm »
Buddhism cannot be equated with relativism, yes, but nevertheless Buddha teaches that everything is relative.

Please elaborate.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2020, 01:34:39 pm »
Everywhere Buddhism has gone, it has picked up local culture.  Tibetan Buddhism is nothing like Theravada, because different cultures are involved.

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The Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna is an important Buddhist ecumenical statement created in 1967 during the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC), where its founder Secretary-General, the late Venerable Pandita Pimbure Sorata Thera, requested the Ven. Walpola Rahula to present a concise formula for the unification of all the different Buddhist traditions. This text was then unanimously approved by the Council.[1]...

We admit that in different countries there are differences regarding Buddhist beliefs and practices. These external forms and expressions should not be confused with the essential teachings of the Buddha.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_points_unifying_Therav%C4%81da_and_Mah%C4%81y%C4%81na

viride

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Re: Buddhism isn't relativism
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2020, 06:54:05 am »
Probably the most glaring problem in Western Buddhism is a common denial or rejection of karma and rebirth.

I read Karma may not have been intrinsic to early Buddhism although I'm sure this is not a commonly accepted viewpoint. I have no problem accepting rebirth as a consequence of craving.

 


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