Is Buddhism a Religion?

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:56 am

Typical, completely typical.

We are going to invent our own definitions of what constitutes a religion and then abscribe to Buddhism the ways in which it does not comply. So I will not reply with a rebuttal line by line for those claims made.They are absurd and self invented, and my experience when people are so convinced they so continue forever and ever. Which is fine but you are denying Buddhism as religion to the many many millions who find it to be exactly that.

The opening post references Buddhism....personal practice. What it is to you.

YOu have to be jokeing. 99.8 percent of the world to include each and every fifth grader knows Buddhism is a religion but not in certain circles in Western Buddhism...no not there. Fifth graders have been educated to it because......it is fact!! Of course general concensus does not establish the finer points of any ideology philosophy or religion, but catagorization of a object is not such a fine point but a very coarse point. And yes, in such matters we define as the majority consider a definition to be, not what we make it up to be. Otherwise communication is impossible. Your excellent Chan lineage master is of course a very venerable source. But you simply cannot take what he says in very complex terms on a point of definition translated from Chinese to English, such terms as "strictly speaking", and claim to know exactly what is meant. Is it then meant not strictly speaking.....Buddhism is a relgion? I would suppose that is exactly true. So I and another several million or so Buddhists agree 100% with your lineage master. And you...seemingly do not. You say we are speaking strictly....I say who says that but you? Does the original poster say that, qualify the responses as being only of the strictest or perhaps final, ultimately considered responses,.....no absolutely not. But you arbitrarily do.

Just take a minute to check any source on religions and any source on what objects you find in that catagory of things and......to no ones surprise there you will find Buddhism. Judism, Christianity Islam Hinduism Jainism....religions every one of them.

NOw to conjecture.....Western peoples find great comfort in Buddhism in forms other than as religion. That is fine. But so begins the necessity to affirm the validity of what they interpret in their form of uddhism and translate it to the other. Since it is what it is to them, it serves to reaffirm their personal view by holding it to be a universal truth....Buddhism is not religion. That is conjecture but it is invariable that in Western Buddhist boards you find this claim being made despite how irrational the claim is.

Listen.....there is no problem with Buddhism not being a religion in your personal practice...none whatsoever.

Do not try to deny it is a religion to the several million peoples in other places throughout the world to which it most certainly is. Are you a incredibly bright person who is defining religions for each and every person in the world.....of course not. YOu are like me and he and she and all of us. So don't deny what other believe. And assuredly they believe Buddhism is a religion.

It is irrational. Check a book any book on religions....Buddhism will be found there.

YOur personal practice....your own business, and how you personally interpret Buddhism as well...your own business. But don't try to call apples oranges because you happen to like oranges. It serves noone any good. Flat plain and simple.

It is nonsense!! Make up your own personal definitions on what constitues religions and then perhaps try to get it published as.....my own encyclopedia on relgions. Then perhaps somone will buy it.

Till then it is nonsense.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Dexing » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:19 pm

Hi ronnewmexico,

You keep saying the same thing, around and around — that so many people around the world consider Buddhism to be a religion, and that it is written in many books — but you've not said why Buddhism is a religion. What makes Buddhism a religion beyond the fact that it is socially accepted as such? This seems to be all you are saying, without making a single point about what in Buddhism makes Buddhism a religion, even by common definition.

Also, non-strictly speaking means "the socially accepted view". The daily Samsaric view of life is true speaking non-strictly. There is "me", there is "suffering", there is "Buddha", there is "sentient being", there is "blue", there is a "computer", there is "Buddhism", but strictly speaking..... meaning not just accepting the Samsaric view of life because it's widespread.

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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:58 pm

What is a religion?

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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:10 pm

I have been involved probably literally in hundreds of discussions on the internet on this issue over many years. This is not a new subject to anyone who has involved themselves to any extent on internet Buddhist boards, which seeing so many familiar names here, constitutes the vast majority that participate on this board.

Will I then enter into this "trap" and go into a involved discussion on Buddhism how it was initiated, the context, the differing aspects as related to systems of Philosophy set up in ancient times by Aristotle and others and contrast their differences? Should I then account for psychology and show how Freud or Jung set up their systems of theory and contrast that to how Buddhism was set up? Should I then show the various ceremony present in virtually all Buddhist faiths, the involvement of prayer supplication faith and devotion in virtually all Buddhist faiths, the ceremonies present upon birth and death and found in all religions? Should I then contrast the four noble truths to the ten commandments? Should I then take the Catholic statement attributed to their founder Jesus, "I am the way the light and the truth" and show that they consider their faith a absolute truth as virtually all religions do?

And then find it all quite denied for various reasons and rational and then descend into a discussion of the ultimate and ultimate characteristics of religions and then the spiritual?

And in the end finding those inclined to hold such view holding such view, should I do all those things?

NO of course not. It is your personal decision to state and believe Buddhism is not a religion. I say go for it...believe away it is fine to do so.

But do not for a second deny Buddhsism as religion to the many millions of Buddhists to include all Tibetan Buddhists that hold lineage. Do not deny them their faith. It is theirs and not lesser than your "thing"...whatever you want to call it.

So I say....allow both. And in your allowance admit to the fact the vast vast majority of Buddhists do indeed consider their Buddhism a religion, very firmly and clearly a religion.

That is the fact and facts are not debateable. What is Buddhism to you, infering the personal ,is the initial question by the original poster.

I do not have a dog in that fight as I do not even claim Buddhism. But I can very well produce lineage holders statements(to the very multiple) stateing not "interpretable" statements such as strictly considered, but actual clear concise statements saying exactly that...Buddhism is religion.

Essentially we are discussing ice cream. We know all like ice cream. The discussion is what type of ice cream is best. YOu want to introduce into the discussion certain perameters(your personal definition of what constitutes a religion) that will reduce this consideration to only able to be considered brown ice creams as ice creams. Then is posited the logical conclusion....since all like ice cream, and all ice cream is chocolate(brown) all like chocolate ice cream. You set the stage for only one logical conclusion to be made. The conclusion will be completely logical but only as to how that stage is set. The basic premesis......ice cream is only brown....religions are defined as you imply....is faulted.
Thusly the logical end conclusion will be faulted. There is no sense in entering into a discussion on that basis.

So now the origianal poster introduces into the thread....what is a religion?

So this goes on and on and on....

Buddhism is religion....for the majority of Buddhist....get used to it people it is how it is. YOu may still hold your personal view there is nothing stateing it is not OK and equal to any other view.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:18 pm

But do not for a second deny Buddhsism as religion to the many millions of Buddhists to include all Tibetan Buddhists that hold lineage. Do not deny them their faith. It is theirs and not lesser than your "thing"...whatever you want to call it.


Cool, Ron :)
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Dexing » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:45 am

Hi Ron,

I'm simply asking you, what actually in Buddhist teachings make it a religion. I'm not talking about the form, or who believes what, but the content itself. I'm also not trying to argue with you. You get carried away easily by this. :smile: Seems an old sore.

The reason I say Buddhist teachings are not religious doesn't really have anything to do with my aversion to religion, which I don't have. It's also not because I feel more comfortable one way than another.

It's simply about the teachings themselves and what they are pointing to. The fact that they (4 noble truths and so on) are mere observations of the reality of the nature that is wrongly perceived by ordinary people.

Further how, in Mahayana teachings, even the Four Noble Truths (including the path) are refuted by the Buddha as being falsely set up, taking for granted that phenomena like "suffering" are real. Same with the "Dependent Origination" teachings being set up to loosen the grip of the deluded based on what they understand and hold to be true.

So if the Four Noble Truths are to be a basis for claiming Buddhism as a religion, or as being the Buddhist creed :quoteunquote: I'd have to disagree from a Mahayana standpoint, and actually any standpoint because at the very beginning, even to the deluded, they are mere observations... not faiths or convictions, unless the words themselves are attached to and not just used for direction.

It's like first teaching a child; "This round ball is blue. This square block is red. This is the correct understanding of the color and shape of objects."

But then later coming back and teaching; "Okay, now that you understand this, in fact these objects have no color. Color is created by your brain and eye-consciousness when light enters the working eye and the brain translates it to you. Color exists only in your brain, not on the objects themselves. And in fact, you only see objects based on color. Even the shape you discern is based on illusory lines created by contrasting background colors. So you can't really say that you see an object, neither square nor round, blue nor red. You only see color, and color is subjective reality..."

Kind of like that, if it makes sense. I could explain in more detail what I mean with examples from our holy holy texts, if you are at all interested in the discussion. :tongue:

:namaste:
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby BFS » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:58 pm

Is Buddhism a Religion?



Clearly it depends on who you ask.
:lol:

It is a question one often comes upon.

As Matthieu Ricard says,

"That’s a question the Dalai Lama’s frequently asked. His usual reply is to joke, “Poor Buddhism! Rejected by religions as an atheistic philosophy, a science of the mind; and by philosophers as a religion—there’s nowhere that Buddhism has citizen’s rights. But perhaps that’s an advantage that could allow Buddhism to build bridges between religions and philosophies.”
In essence, we could say that Buddhism is a path of transformation toward enlightenment, a contemplative science, and a rich philosophical tradition from which a wisdom applicable in every instant and in all circumstances is derived. "


:bow:
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:03 pm

I will not claim to be any sort of expert on HHDL and his teaching but to my limited exposure I do believe that his verbal responses written and published by others, are not in the same context as his written teachings, perhaps reduced from verbage, authorized and published through his office. The Buddha, in Tibetan Buddhist thought, (not to say this is better nor worse than any other school of Buddhist thought) provided teachings tailored to the mental disposition of the audience he was speaking to. A not so bright crowd with strong beliefs in certain things he spoke in one way, a crowd of followers with much history of study in introspective insight, and he spoke in another fashion. For example...a crowd of Nigerians involved in a religious civil war of sorts with many dying on both sides and any crowd contaning family members who has thusly died....he is simply not going to state the nonexistance of a creator god. It would be a insult of sorts to those people. So a written account of such a talk given may contain statements that are not even Buddhist but are theist; there is necessity for this. And such talks are generally not published by his office as representative of his Buddhist thought.

My personal obseration is HHDL conducts himself in a similiar fashion to the teacher Buddha. He considers himself a simple monk not a Buddha (this is not the issue). He has found it a very effective way to communicate. And he has political necessity of communication drawn into such things as head of the Tibetan government in exile.

That aside, his written works published by his office, speak to my opinion more to the core of what he thinks on issues than necessarily his verbal works recounted by others,. They all contain value some more to core issues than others.

With that in mind here is a quote from a earlier book "Live in a Better Way", pg 29 in paperback..

There are two catagories of religions. One group of religions I call theistic religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Judfism, and Hinduism.These uphold a fundamental belief in God. Another group of religions I call godless religions, such as Buddhism, Jainism, and Sankhya philosophy, (an ancient and sophisticated component of Hinduism), believe there is not god, and no creator and no almighty. Ultimately, the creator is one's own self. One group mainly the Buddhists, does not accept the theory of a permanent soul."

It is quite obvious he consideres himself a member of a religion. And it is quite obvious he generally speaks reflecting Tibetan Buddhist thought generally on such issues. I could produce certainly scores of quotes to the same effect on Buddhism being religion.

My personal experience if you have knowledge of temples in some parts of Butan and other places you will find Buddhist followers doing almost the exact things that HIndu and other religions do in such places. The ceremonies are very very similiar. Bon is a example to compare to Tibetan Buddhism. The ceremonies of both in very many cases are virtually identical. ONe is Buddhist and one is not. To say one is religion and one is not; based on a ultimate or strict consideration, denies Buddhism as religion to all that hold the belief it is. I say once again...you view of Buddhism as not religion is fine and good, and there is nothing wrong with that. Do not deny the views of those that hold Buddhism to be religion based upon a framework of terminology that involves ultimate final or very strict criteria. There are very very many that hold the view Buddhism is religion and have held that view for the better part of two thousand years. That does them, those millions, a disservice. It is fine for you to hold your view...it is fine for them to hold their view.

One should understand ultimate view does not disallow conventional view. That we know all is dependently originated and emptiness is a componant part of any awareness and all appearence is mind in no manner shape nor form, disallows that things present in conventional form...not for a second. Buddhism generally does not state that. That and the ideas that run concurrent from that, lead directly to the view that there is no cause and effect relationship and thusly thats there exists ultimately no karmic effect and thusly ultimately there is no spiritual path. It denies dharma. It denies dharma as it is nihilism, a extension of nihilism.

That is not a Buddhist view....the conventional is always allowed for in Buddhism and not directly denied.

Hence Buddhism in conventional terms is exactly a religion. I do not have to go into sutra, sutta, ceremony, sanga, orders of monks and nuns, four noble truths, links of dependent origination, and all the rest, to express that. It is apparent and obvious. It exactly equals what is a religion.

Ultimate consideration....sure that has different implications. But ultimate does not deny conventional, it deliniates conventional.

So we cannot deny Buddhism as religion to the many millions who hold that view. On that basis it cannot be denied.

So many may speak in differing ways on this thing.....certainly. The confusion is in taking a strict or ultimate consideration of things and mistaking it for a conventional consideration.Then a masters words are misinterpreted, and one is left with discussions such as these and misconception that may have negative effect. As we see here....strictly speaking Buddhism is not considered a religion by a master. The master is speaking how.....strictly NOt conventionally.

So to my experience in the West there is this confusion. But the west is new to Buddhism so it is to be expected. I see this literal interpretation and misconstruction, leading to misinterpretation in many areas of Western Buddhism to my personal opinion and observation.

It is not who you ask or how you ask or a vast diversity of opinion being present on this thing....it is not understanding the context within which the answers by lineage masters give the answer to this thing.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:09 pm

BFS wrote:
As Matthieu Ricard says,

"That’s a question the Dalai Lama’s frequently asked. His usual reply is to joke, “Poor Buddhism! Rejected by religions as an atheistic philosophy, a science of the mind; and by philosophers as a religion—there’s nowhere that Buddhism has citizen’s rights. But perhaps that’s an advantage that could allow Buddhism to build bridges between religions and philosophies.”
In essence, we could say that Buddhism is a path of transformation toward enlightenment, a contemplative science, and a rich philosophical tradition from which a wisdom applicable in every instant and in all circumstances is derived. "


Great quote :)
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Nemo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:21 pm

Big guy on a dais who we bow down to and pray for blessings. Saints, rosaries, holy books of wisdom, temples, special uniforms and tax exempt status.

Looks like an average religion to me.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:31 pm

See....here it is again.

Check the quote above....."In essence" is stated.

This is strictly speaking, in essence...to understand this thing we must understand the context of its displayal.

Essence infers ultimate strict final consideration. it does not infer conventional expression. We are confusing conventional things with ultimate discussed things.

But people take its literal meaning out of context and then apply their interpretation. I venture to safely state if we looked at the literal Tibetan wording for such words if this was spoken in Tibetan we would find the context more obvious.

So we misconstrue and state things like....there exist a very differing view on this thing and the most we can say is.....there is no concensus on this thing.

Which is a gross misread.

I also venture to safely say....anytime you read or hear a lineage master speaking of this thing you will find the qualifier present in some form. You will find...... strictly speaking, in essence, essentially, finally, ultimately considered, or other verbage, qualifing their statement. Perhaps not directly in the sentence but if not, adjacent to it, qualifing their statement. Check it yourself. Then tell me this is not so.

And please don't quote noteable Western Buddhist authors. I know of one who espousing to be Tibetan nevertheless speaks strongly of things such as the existance of a soul. So you are able to find generally anything stateing any number of perposterous things about Buddhism by Western authors. Members of the religion who hold lineage, are qualified to teach their lineage saying with no qualifier Buddhism is not a religion. I suspect you will not find exactly that.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Nemo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:42 pm

Religion is defined by faith. Philosophy by reason and deduction based on personal experience.

Karma
Reincarnation
Buddhas
Buddha Lands
The lack of inherent existence of all phenomena.

Do you know of these through faith or reason?
Buddhism's use of faith clearly puts it in the realm of religion.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:49 pm

Not to be argumentative on this issue but....

to my experience other religions consider all there beliefs exactly equally to be the truth or the way things are, as Buddhists do, and will state their views are able to be deductively reasoned as well as Buddhists are. Fundamental Christians for example will use the complexity of the nature of things to, in their mind, speak of the necessity of the construction of such things by a creator. To their experience all complex things are created by intelligent things, such as a car is created by a person, so thusly a incredibly complex thing such as reality must have a intelligent creator. It is all nonsense of course but they believe it logically proves a creator god.

They are mistaken of course, but it is not a issue of others being like this and Buddhists not.

I would say faith and devotion are parts of virtually all Buddhist faiths. Even those of the dryest kinds will have faith in a teacher sensi, guru, lama, lineage, or such, to provide the "right" view. Faith in a more restricted sense than faith in a diety or somesuch; but faith it is neverthless. Perhaps part of why lineage master conventionally do not describe Buddhism as philosophy.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Nemo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:05 pm

I think we agree. For 99.96% of Buddhists it is a religion. For the 0.04% it is spiritual science based on personal experience. I know this through faith in my teachers so I am clearly in the religious boat.

Some have very odd beliefs that have little to do with what the Buddha actually taught and call themselves Buddhists. They may not technically be a religion, but they are technically not Buddhist either. I have no problem with that. They should invent their own name though.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby BFS » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:07 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:
BFS wrote:
As Matthieu Ricard says,

"That’s a question the Dalai Lama’s frequently asked. His usual reply is to joke, “Poor Buddhism! Rejected by religions as an atheistic philosophy, a science of the mind; and by philosophers as a religion—there’s nowhere that Buddhism has citizen’s rights. But perhaps that’s an advantage that could allow Buddhism to build bridges between religions and philosophies.”
In essence, we could say that Buddhism is a path of transformation toward enlightenment, a contemplative science, and a rich philosophical tradition from which a wisdom applicable in every instant and in all circumstances is derived. "


Great quote :)


Yeah, I think so, sums it up quite nicely for me. :smile:
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:50 pm

I do disagree on this...."Some have very odd beliefs that have little to do with what the Buddha actually taught and call themselves Buddhists. They may not technically be a religion, but they are technically not Buddhist either. I have no problem with that. They should invent their own name though."

No problem exists by such peoples calling their thing Buddhism. One form of Buddhism(as religion) considered on the basis of production of less suffering to self and/or other is exactly equal to their form of Buddhism(as philosophy psychology whatever).

So both should be allowed and all should state not; the other is disallowed or misnamed.

The problem exists generally because Western Buddhists claim we cannot state Buddhism is a religion yet their thing is valid. Both are valid, in their own way and both can call it what they will.

The vast vast majority call Buddhism religion but that is a aside, and does not deny they can call their thing Buddhism if they are so inclined. But do not call all Buddhism not a religion. That is a untruth and untruths as we see here, cause confusion and may lead some away from a spiritual path.

There exist concensus on this issue. Concensus does not disallow for variance of view.

.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby mettafuture » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:52 pm

I see Buddhism as a spiritual compass.
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby MJH » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:47 pm

I vote religion.....what do I get if I win?!? :smile:
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby Nemo » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:25 am

ronnewmexico wrote:I do disagree on this...."Some have very odd beliefs that have little to do with what the Buddha actually taught and call themselves Buddhists. They may not technically be a religion, but they are technically not Buddhist either. I have no problem with that. They should invent their own name though."

No problem exists by such peoples calling their thing Buddhism. One form of Buddhism(as religion) considered on the basis of production of less suffering to self and/or other is exactly equal to their form of Buddhism(as philosophy psychology whatever).

So both should be allowed and all should state not; the other is disallowed or misnamed.

The problem exists generally because Western Buddhists claim we cannot state Buddhism is a religion yet their thing is valid. Both are valid, in their own way and both can call it what they will.

The vast vast majority call Buddhism religion but that is a aside, and does not deny they can call their thing Buddhism if they are so inclined. But do not call all Buddhism not a religion. That is a untruth and untruths as we see here, cause confusion and may lead some away from a spiritual path.

There exist concensus on this issue. Concensus does not disallow for variance of view.

.


I think I would rather keep my Buddhism as what the Buddha taught. Not the marketing scenarios of new age doctrines that need something esoteric, ancient and exotic to give them credibility. But that is just my personal opinion. I also take Vajrayana to be divine revelation and I respect the right of Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhists to label those teachings as apocryphal.

I have seen a few new wage phonies use Buddhism as an excuse to get young often already married lovers, rake in lots of cash, and get worship and adoration. Is it ok for them to be Buddhist too? Or do we have a moral duty to call them phonies?
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Re: Is Buddhism a Religion?

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:10 am

Well yeah...

The original poster says, what is Buddhism to you. So that infers the personal, so we get a variety of opinion. Personally who can deny a personal view....its personal. So all is valid in that context.

Now if a concensus view is asked for, the concensus or common opinion is firmly in the camp of Buddhism being religion. If a personal view conflicts with a concensus or common opinion and the holder of that view starts saying for whatever reason that other view is not a valid view.....then we get into problems.

The confusion generated to my opinion on misreading of strict, final or other qualifier of what Buddhism is with common or concensus view. Lineage holders always say things like strictly speaking or essentially speaking. If we take it out of context and then start spouting off about Buddhism being a nonreligion.....then we get into trouble. And tick off about several million people. And think of it....the ticker offer is most often a convert who has held to Buddhism for ten twenty or maybe forty years at most(quite often quite a bit less) telling peoples whose lineage derives from as much as 2000 plus years.....this is how Buddhism is.

I don't generally like blanket statements but America to my opinion holds a certain arrogance. They have(to their view) the best government(democracy) the best economy(liberal capitalism) and on and on and quite often want to spread that around sometimes with force. Maybe this is how it is everywhere but perhaps not, I will not state certainly. So our view of this new thing to us in America is considered in our view apprehended in a superior fashion by us. So we can take lineage of 2 thousand years and dump it. We have the most advanced society on the face of the earth ever, (I'd guess is the thinking unconsicously) so how we find things and how it is then found to be is, what goes. And any changes we make to Buddhism are changes adapting it to our style and thusly acceptable since our style is superior.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having such views on Buddhism and professing it as Buddhist faith or psychology or philosophy or whatever. It produces compassion.....it is equal.

It the interest of humbleness however I would suggest not stepping on the toes of those whose toes have been in this particular water for 2 thousand years. IN that respect.....do not deny Buddhism as religion to those that hold that view. If you may care to discuss ultimate consideration on what constitutes the spiritual or some such of course that is fair game. To apply the ultimate to the conventional understanding is not the same thing.

I could live with anyone coming to this thread and stateing I find Buddhism personally a philosophy and ultimately considered I find Buddhism not a religion but a code of action, or anything of that sort.
That says nothing on others common view of this thing and thusly is fair game for debate. That is a far stretch from coming to this thread and stateing I find Buddhism a philosophy(or whatever) and then stateing....... in fact Buddhism cannot be considered a religion....prove it is a religion. Engage me in this debate, I in fact demand it.

Then they perhaps state....my Lama/master says so, and then provide a quote entirely out of context refering of course to your lama/sensi speaking ultimately or finally or in a strict essential sense. And then apply that quote to a comon or concensus view.

See....two entirely different approaches. One speaks of arrogance one speaks of challenge but with no arrogrance. One approach disallows others view on religion and is the same nature of the situation of one(perhaps who hold a concensus/common view) disallowing the personal view of anyone on Buddhism.
Considering a subject finally or ultimately and differentiating that from a consideration by common means and thusly not disallowing others religion......that certainly is worthy of debate.

For those that may be interested in that debate.....I initiate with respect, as my view is but a small view of little education and no accomplishment, I state ultimately.....I find all is spiritual or religious/religion, or that nothing is or may be considered to be spiritual or religious/religion. That is my opening statement on that issue. So that initiates that debate. Feel free to discuss that if that is really what is wanted, a discussion on ultimate consideration of this thing. But do not for a minute tell others their Buddhism may not be a religion, it is in bad taste, and arrogant.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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