What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby asunthatneversets » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:42 pm

Good videos... worth watching both (and the others in the series) but if you want an expedited explanation of the fundamental difference in views between Christianity/Buddhism he sums them up pretty clearly starting at 7:58 in Pt. 2

ALAN WATTS: Buddhism And Christianity Pt. 1 of 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV7FLlRmuf0

ALAN WATTS: Buddhism And Christianity Pt. 2 of 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr73khHDqeE
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:16 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Up to know you have amassed a considerable number of links to extremely good sources of information. It would pay to read them and then come back and ask more detailed questions.


The last link for reading was 75 pages.

I think I understand the basic stuff. The other question is ~ do we really understand what we read? . .

We may understand intellectually. Gaining insight is a whole new animal though and it seldom happens overnight.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Seishin » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:17 pm

Wesley1982 wrote: The other question is ~ do we really understand what we read? . .


In my opinion, this is why practice and a good teacher/group is important.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:12 am

ok . . In Buddhism is there something similiar to what we call a 'Spiritual Law' or laws? . .
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Josef » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:24 am

Wesley1982 wrote:ok . . In Buddhism is there something similiar to what we call a 'Spiritual Law' or laws? . .

No.
We have ethics that are based on observation of cause and effect.
Those ethics and observations determine appropriate and inappropriate conduct of body, speech, and mind.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Wesley1982 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:08 am

Is it ok to keep asking questions - not sure

Is there a connection between Buddhism and Agnostic thought? . .
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Tara » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:18 am

Wesley1982 wrote:Is it ok to keep asking questions - not sure


Yes.

Regards,
It's not a competition. It's a choice.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Josef » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:47 am

Wesley1982 wrote:Is there a connection between Buddhism and Agnostic thought? . .

I think that depends on the individual.
A lot of people can participate in Buddhism with an agnostic view of certain things and that is totally fine.
Eventually we want to move beyond that though.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby plwk » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:52 pm

What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?
From my late Chinese paternal grandparents perspective... the former uses spoon and fork and wears jeans, the latter uses chopsticks and wears the hanfu...
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Wesley1982 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:27 pm

So far what can be done is take the 'world of Christianity' and the 'world of Buddhism' and contrast the differences between the two.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby mint » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:08 am

Mr. G wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:how to turn the dharma wheel? . .


You may want to start with some introductory readings:

Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition by Prof. Paul Williams
Vision of Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree by Prof. Roger Corless
Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations by Prof. Paul Williams


Ironic that you propose two books written by a devout Catholic.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Mr. G » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:15 am

mint wrote:
Mr. G wrote:
Wesley1982 wrote:how to turn the dharma wheel? . .


You may want to start with some introductory readings:

Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition by Prof. Paul Williams
Vision of Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree by Prof. Roger Corless
Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations by Prof. Paul Williams


Ironic that you propose two books written by a devout Catholic.


Not ironic at all. Most Buddhist academics are agnostic. Why should that take away from the scholarly work they've done? Besides, his argument for converting to Catholicism isn't impressive in the least - quite juvenile actually. Even academics are humans with flaws, eh?
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby mint » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:09 pm

Mr. G wrote:Not ironic at all. Most Buddhist academics are agnostic. Why should that take away from the scholarly work they've done? Besides, his argument for converting to Catholicism isn't impressive in the least - quite juvenile actually. Even academics are humans with flaws, eh?


I didn't mean that the works themselves are of little value considering Prof. William's change of heart; they are actually quite good. It's just ironic considering that Prof. Williams could intimately tell all of us the differences between a Christian and a Buddhist - though, I sort of think has some passive aggressive issues himself towards Buddhism.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:40 pm

Mr. G wrote:Not ironic at all. Most Buddhist academics are agnostic. Why should that take away from the scholarly work they've done? Besides, his argument for converting to Catholicism isn't impressive in the least - quite juvenile actually. Even academics are humans with flaws, eh?


This is changing. In the academic world of Tibetan Buddhism it seems predominately made up of actual Buddhists. In other spheres of pan-Buddhist studies it seems half secularist and half Buddhist.

With the decline in funding for humanities as a whole I foresee Buddhist Studies as an academic field being transferred largely into the realm of Buddhist colleges, primarily in Asia. This will likely mean that it will only be Buddhists who venture into such areas seriously as there is little perceived prestige in attending such colleges in contrast to being a formal academic in a mainstream university.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:15 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:Is it ok to keep asking questions - not sure

Is there a connection between Buddhism and Agnostic thought? . .


Agnosticism is specifically sitting on the fence when it comes to the existence of god in a monotheist context.

Buddhism from the start rejected and continues to reject the existence of a monotheist deity, i.e., a creator of time and space. In that sense Buddhism is not agnostic as it clearly rejects the existence of god.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby LightSeed » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:32 pm

I have to say, that as an agnostic, I would not categorize myself as "sitting on a fence". It's not that I'm confused, or haven't made up my mind, it's that as an agnostic I believe that I have no proof, for or against an existence of a deity, and more importantly that I believe the question to be pointless. If there is a god in the sense that most monotheistic religions believe there to be one, then he (or she, or it) is not interested in providing clear and evident proof to all of the beings on earth, therefore a certain level of beings who do not conclusively believe in the existence of said god, are supposed to exist. If there isn't a god, then it also renders the question pointless.

Now, I'm not all agnostics, so maybe a large number of them are fence-sitters. I don't know.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby mint » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:38 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:So far what can be done is take the 'world of Christianity' and the 'world of Buddhism' and contrast the differences between the two.


While you say you have no more space for books, you may eventually consider picking up this if you're really interested in the "difference" between a Christian and a Buddhist:

The Ground We Share: Everyday Practice, Buddhist and Christian by David Steindl-Rast and Robert Aitken Roshi
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby mint » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:07 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:Hello,

What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist? . .


Since you come from an Orthodox Christian background, you may find the Christian answer to this question interesting:

http://oca.org/questions/otherconfessio ... -orthodoxy

Buddhists are called to be mindful. Buddhists are called to meditate. Buddhists fast, pray, and give alms. Orthodox Christianity has a rich tradition of being mindful. Orthodox Christianity has a rich tradition of meditation, of fasting, of praying, of giving alms. Now, the question stands: If one is convinced that Orthodox Christianity possess the fullness of truth and is God’s chosen ark of salvation and embraces Our Lord Jesus Christ through Orthodox Christianity, would not one wish to practice the Orthodox Christian principles of mindfulness, meditation, etc., rather than seeing these as exclusively Buddhist principles and practicing them according to Buddhist, rather than Orthodox Christian, tradition?
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:46 pm

mint wrote:
Buddhists are called to be mindful. Buddhists are called to meditate. Buddhists fast, pray, and give alms. Orthodox Christianity has a rich tradition of being mindful. Orthodox Christianity has a rich tradition of meditation, of fasting, of praying, of giving alms. Now, the question stands: If one is convinced that Orthodox Christianity possess the fullness of truth and is God’s chosen ark of salvation and embraces Our Lord Jesus Christ through Orthodox Christianity, would not one wish to practice the Orthodox Christian principles of mindfulness, meditation, etc., rather than seeing these as exclusively Buddhist principles and practicing them according to Buddhist, rather than Orthodox Christian, tradition?


Orthodox Christianity does not identity let alone address the problem of samsara.

Buddhism, on the other hand, does successively identify and address the problem of samsara. Meditation is prescribed as a part of the remedy which solves the problem of samsara.

Meditation in Orthodox Christianity cannot begin to even do this because it rejects the existence of samsara. At best its methods function as mere palliative care.
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Re: What is the difference between a Christian and a Buddhist?

Postby catmoon » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:12 am

It's simple really.

Get ten Christians together, throw a hat on the floor and they will put money in the hat and hire a missionary.

Get ten Buddhists together, throw a hat on the floor, and they will still be there three weeks later, arguing about whether or not the hat is real. If they can settle that one, they will put money in the hat, but then they will start arguing about whether or not the money is real. Eventually they will wander off looking for a good restaurant where they can continue the discussion. At that point a Christian comes along, finds the hat full of money, yells "Praise the Lord" at the top of his lungs, and hires another missionary.
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