Is Buddhism a Religion?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by kmguru, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. kmguru Staff Member


    Siddhartha was a truth seeker, nothing more. He wasn't looking for
    religion, as such -- he wasn't particularly interested in religion. He
    was searching for the truth. He was looking for a genuine path to
    freedom from suffering. Aren't all of us searching for the same thing?
    If we look at the life of Siddhartha, we can see that he foun...d the truth
    and freedom he was seeking only after he abandoned religious practices.
    Isn't that significant? The one who became the Buddha, the "Awakened
    One," didn't find enlightenment through religion -- he found it when he
    began to leave religion behind.
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  3. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    I think it is. It is an organized approach to solving ultimate questions and has ultimate beliefs about what is going on, what is, what is not, and so on. IOW metaphysics. Even if part of its approach is to avoid making assertions about such things, at least in certain ways and contexts.

    It makes sense for someone to say
    for example
    what I was seeking in Christianity I finally found in Buddhism.

    I think there is something very misleading if God is seen as a necessary part of a religion. Language is problematic there. I do see a reason for having a word that mean a organized system of belief that includes a God - theism being the closest off the to of my head. But I think there should be a mundane common word for any complete belief system that seeks to eliminate anything that might be a mental or emotional predicament. Not in the 'we'll of course never quite fix everything' way of, for example, psychology/psychotherapy, which addresses the issues, but never offers a complete respite from suffering. I think anything that says it can lead one to a place where, essentially, there are not problems
    nirvana, heaven, enlightenment, oneness, etc.,
    is a religion.

    As far as the Buddha leaving religion behind, many Hindu mystics would say they leave the religion behind. I think a case could also be made for jesus and Christian mystics also doing this. Martin Buber does not seem essentially Jewish in his metaphysics to me, he sound more like mystics from the previously mentioned religions than most rabbis - as one example from yet another religion.
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  5. keith1 Guest

    Lao Tzu was the carefullest with his words. And his "impressionable following" still, in time, built a religion of it. Operation Manuals can become litany with time. Remember that when you go off to explore the universe...

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  7. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member


    They still seem to play with the notion of mythical beings. I'm not certain if that is because of the influence by regional religions or an actual belief evolution from within the practice. I've heard that Buddhism is a philosophy, a particular way of life; however, there is evidence that they recognize supernatural entities that exist in a hierarchy of realms. The Buddhist may not worship them, but they construct a universe that is populated by gods, demons, titans and ghosts. To me, that comes very close to being a religion, even if they don't pay homage. :shrug:
  8. keith1 Guest

    Observations of larger cultures (Fertile Crescent, Asia, Celtic into Europe, etc.) invading (or simply "absorbing") smaller local prehistoric groups in their migratory or expanding path, are available, and perhaps such incorporation of doctrine with a blend of local lore, made for a more easier, if not compatible, result.

    "...The 12th century work Acallam na Senórach tells of Patrick being met by two ancient warriors, Caílte mac Rónáin and Oisín, during his evangelical travels. The two were once members of Fionn mac Cumhaill's warrior band the Fianna, and somehow survived to Patrick's time. They traveled with the saint and told him their stories..."

    "...Hill of Slane,...St. Patrick lit a Paschal fire on this hill top in 433 CE in defiance of the High King Laoire who forbid any other fires while a festival fire was burning on the Hill of Tara. Historians and archaeologists agree that Muirchu has moved to Slane a fire lit elsewhere; Brú na Bóinne, and Knowth have been suggested... The Hill of Slane can be seen from the Hill of Tara which is about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) away...According to Muirchu, Logaire was so impressed by Patrick’s devotion that, despite his defiance (or perhaps because of it), he let him continue his missionary work in Ireland. It is somewhat more certain that Patrick appointed a bishop of Slane, Saint Erc..."
  9. InTheFlesh77 Set the controls... Registered Senior Member

    I always thought that Buddhism was more a 'way of life' rather than a religion.
  10. kmguru Staff Member

    So is Hinduism and even Sikhism. Perhaps there is a common thread there...

    In the west not sure about Kabbalah?
  11. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    For me, meditating opens my mind to the past 3,000 years of humans meditating. And the ethics behind eating have a salient point to make. I think Buddhism is a religion.
  12. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    "Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or in general a set of beliefs explaining the existence of and giving meaning to the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs."

    For what it's worth.
  13. IamJoseph Banned Banned

    'Religion' is a new term which appeared after the chaos of two new belief systems assuming a take-over role of a predating belief system. To cut to the chase scene, there are only two religions:

    1. Pure Monotheism.

    2. All the other ISM's.
  14. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

    I think Buddhism is a few overlapping religions and also a a few cultural collections that are not exactly religions.

    I think whether something is a religion is defined by the attitude of the followers and not by the attitude of the founder or the content of the teaching. Some of the hard core atheists look religious to me. I guess when I think of religion I think of people blinded by dogma.
  15. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Speaking of Buddhism, an ex-Buddhist friend of mine is now Catholic. She was raised Buddhist but, for whatever reason really felt the need to be Baptized into the Church (which happened a few months or so ago). Interestingly, she's still very Buddhist minded. At first I was really against it, but, she does seem like it's helped her get off the booze, so, now I'm for it.

    The whole experience for me, as I mentioned to her, got me to thinking: It's too bad Christians weren't raised Buddhist and then offered the choice of Christianity at the age of 35. I think we'd have much better Christians for sure. See, the problem with Christianity is at a fundamental ideological level. However, the good of Christianity, forgiveness, can be a game changer for some people. Which is why it's a very popular religion.

    Anywho, just some thoughts

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  16. kmguru Staff Member

    Whether you are raised in Hinduism or Buddhism, there is no restriction in the practicing pf the core philosophy from Christianity. Perhaps your friend did not know that. The old Hindiusm name is "Sanatana Dharma" - the eternal way of life, that encompasses every good human idea for eternity.

    It is like, if you are a meat eater, you can eat vegetables too, but the vegan can not eat meat.
  17. arauca Banned Banned


    Well, They have a beautiful in Lemont ill. I have visited several in China they have all sort of gods in Lemont the put fruit and burn candles to their god to their. So if it walks like a doc and quacks like a doc , therefore it must be a doc. so is Buddhism a religion . Philosophy yes, Christianity , Islam , Atheism, they are all religion and have their own philosophy .
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Or no religion. That's common in the USA. My wife is a non-religious Buddhist.
  19. arauca Banned Banned

    Why would you put flowers or burn candles in front of Buddha statue and bow to the statue ?
  20. arauca Banned Banned

    There are many Christians who do not practice same as your Buddhist wife
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    It's a ritual. Rituals help us focus. You don't have to imbue them with any supernatural quality.

    But all Christians believe in God, as well as the divinity of Jesus. She and her Buddhist friends do not believe in any supernatural creatures or forces.
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Because Buddhism is adaptable, and it often incorporated the traditions of the countries in which it was adopted. This practice is not a necessary aspect of Buddhism.
  23. arauca Banned Banned

    Exuse excuse excuse , Bloody Buddhist pretend to be so sophisticated . I see their preacher coming in to Jail ( maximum security with all sort of gadgets for a service and you will tell me is no religion

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