Why do many atheists accept Bhuddism?
Many online atheists openly despise religion but have a warm soft spot for Bhuddism which is also a religion with temples, chants, prayers and reincarnation etc.
Why is that?
Oz, the nice thing about Buddhism is that it does not require worship of a particular God. Many who are not enlightened even a little bit miss this concept. Buddha rejected a deity creator. People toss around the notion of the use of the verbiage using a ism. Well atheism exists also.
Yoga gets the idea across unless one is totally ignorant or prejudice. Mantras can be to any God or even a Namaste concept.
I believe in mathematical equations and gravity. But they are not a false God. I believe a person should exercise their brain but I do not believe the brain is God. A Muslim or a Christian or a Jew can believe in the constructs of Buddhism. Most assuredly an atheist can. And someone should note that unlike what many say about the Bible: That you must believe all of it. Buddhism has no such concept. A person can accept some of Buddha's teaching and reject the rest. It is not an all or nothing concept. Unnecessary killing of a worm is not a fine thing to do. Believing in a God does not make you bad. The perspective of doing harm to another is universally ugly.
I like the concept of "Jews for Christ" and I equally like the concept of "nonbelievers for Buddha". Conforming faith and religion are man-made and so is Buddha. Atheism is mental and so is most of Buddhism..
If Buddhism is a religion what is the name of their God?Buddha specifically told them Not to pray to him but to follow the precepts he discovered once 'awakened' .
Buddhism is,unfortunately,beginning to suffer the same fate as all other spiritual schools that have come and gone through out history...much like the life cycle of a man;deification of its teacher and perversion of its teachings followed by atrophy and finaly death.
Zoroastrianism seems to be the longest lasting known religion at four to six thousand years but it's a shadow of its self during its hay day in the middle east where it contributed greatly to its replacement,Christianity.
That is the way of religion;Incorporate the old religions dogma but vilify its Gods,combine with the new beliefs of your religion,and present yourself as the Real truth about the new improved God that only you have the inside info on.
In the words of the late George Carlin"When it comes to bullshit you half to stand in AWE of Religion"...RIP George...
I looked up Carlin again. Unlike Will Rogers Carlin was strictly a pay to see comedian. His jokes were to make money.
Eric!You had to Look Up George Carlin???You must live in a Box!!! "His jokes were to make money" doesn't make them any less true brother.
Alright I did not have to look up one of my fav guys ever. Just your malstated quote. Which is AWEsome. Man does cook up some crazy stuff. But if man was not the cook, who would be.
Please Google Kwan Yin and the pantheon of bhuddist gods and goddesses.
I am not in a position to answer this question but if I may I would like to respond in the way of....
Im in a long period of transition. My world has been turned upside down. I am trying to form a new philosophy that includes the existence of what is upside down to me as well as a way of a more workable philosophy. What will become that new world view? I still don't know but this I do aspire to and/or want to manifest in my everyday life-
-follow the golden rule (christianity) treat others as you would like to be treated
- do the least harm as much as is possible in deed and action (buddhism)
-learn to listen to the flame alight in your heart (your intuition) but still bring your brain along with you
-be benevolent. Give someone a second chance (unless it is an unredeemable crime)
-reach out warmly. Wear a smile. Its costs nothing and its a universal language of friendliness.
And the rest? Im still waiting for the clarity.
For your question? Christianity is a religion. Buddhism is an example of one kind of philosophy.
Every encyclopedia ever written lists bhuddism as a religion.
Is it important to be right or right to be important?
So the aim of this question is to get a discussion going or just to prove you are right? I may have misunderstood where you are coming from?
I really have a hard time believing that Oz has read a Chinese or Arabic or Hindi dictionary or encyclopedia. Of course those would only account for about 8 tenths of the world as we know it. Does anyone even know what a WAPP is anymore.
Dude!That is a Bold Statement! 'EVERY'?!?
Minus one point of credibility from the 'big "O" for that one'...
This is not a forum so we can't be overly detailed. Western atheist authored encyclopedias was implied. See you at the forum for long winded detail?
1. It lets them celebrate Christmas and other holidays as cultural icons without agreeing to Christianity's tenets or rules.
2. Liberal multiculturalism says Judeo-Christian American culture is inferior and the more exotic/distant from European Christian culture something is, the better. Buddhism is Asian and novel to the West, thus better.
3. It has a lot of room for personal interpretation from veganism to meat eating, yoga and meditation to just environmentalism. Perfect for atheists who want to define their own rules.
4. Buddhism doesn't contradict astrology, ghosts, ESP, reincarnation and a lot of pagan beliefs many atheists still hold.
Astrology, ghosts, esp, reincarnation are firmly and forever religious phenomena. Atheists need to stop stereotyping religion as right wing fundamentalist or just plain "come out" of the closet as plain agnostics.
Lol astrology, ghosts etc? The question is more what do they take from Buddhsim and which buddhism. Most often just words from buddha, meditation, zen. Rarely the mystical, otherworldy denominations...
It's all about the mystical. There's a lot of astrology in it. See Tibetan bhuddism etc.
For the main question IMHO it is because Buddhist don't believe in a God or gods. The teachings of Buddha states, "that believing in god(s) was not useful for those seeking to realize 'enlightenment' (The goal)". It is a perfect fit for when seeking something greater than something else at a personal level such as some kind of fulfillment as an atheist.
Okay what about the other stuff. First, Buddhist do not believe in reincarnation. That is a Hindu belief. Many Buddhist believe in the process of rebirth seeking enlightenment, which is the goal. For more about rebirth see: Reincarnation and Buddhism: Here We Go Again http://www.alanpeto.com/buddhism/unders … n-rebirth/
Since Buddhist do not believe in a God or gods, then they do not worship one or them. They place a great emphasis on devotion, reverence, and meditation. The statue form of Buddha is bowed to out of reverence to a teacher and his teachings. It is a symbol of the attainment of enlightenment.
Temples are for meditation and devotion. Chants are said to bring teachings to mind usually for meditation purposes. What is seen as prayer is a misperception. They are devotional practices. Sounds like a question of semantics or convoluted. The point being is there is not a God or gods as the focus of a prayer. Perhaps those practices or disciplines are seen as not intrusive by an atheist since there are no God or gods.
Please Google Kwan Yin who is the main goddess of an entire pantheon of bhuddist gods. Gods, temples, monks, prayers, reincarnation, rosary beads, etc. It's a religion bro with Gods.
Wow, kind of like a Wiki understanding. Oz I expect more from you. My wife went every day after school where the Buddhist caretakers of the monastery helped her with homework and spiritual stuff -- She had no notion of a God.
Every encyclopedia and book of any authority ever written by a historian or religious leader classes bhuddism as a religion. Maybe your bhuddist friend was trying to please your friend to get them involved.
Buddhism is an interesting play on religious notions. It may be true that Buddha did not want to be worshiped, but he is worshiped by his followers. They ALL pray in front of statues of him yet claim they are only honoring his teachings. Why the idolatry if your not deifying Buddha?
Regardless of convenient word play, Buddhism is a religion and Buddha is worshiped as a God.
Of course. Kwan Yin is the main goddess.
Bhuddists say we are all "sleeping bhuddas" which acknowledges the God like nature of everyone's soul.
I may be wrong here (as I often am) but...Isn't the definition of the word Buddha "awakened";that would make"sleeping Buddhas"translate to 'sleeping awakened' ones?I suppose that makes sense but...it seems kinda not right?
Bhuddists believe that most never quite make it to full enlightenment and remain godlike in heavenly realms or they might return in human form to teach others. It's a religion.
People are welcome to enjoy it.
There does seem to be immunity granted by some Atheists to religions that are either viewed as generally benign or peaceful or religions that are, more or less, atheistic ones. A religion that is grotesquely harmful, such as Catholicism or radical strains of Islam are more likely to get criticized than someone sitting under a tree trying to reach enlightenment.
A good thing to point out is that while many atheists are skeptics, not all are. There are some atheists who believe in ghosts or alien visitations or psychic powers of some sort. Even the most staunch disbeliever in the Abrahamic faiths might fall prey to some New Age or pseudo-Eastern beliefs if they aren't properly applying skepticism to their beliefs.
It is very common in the West to assume that very ancient or very foreign beliefs have some sort of enhanced wisdom. The New Age movement wouldn't exist if it weren't for the co-opting of many ideas and beliefs from Eastern and pagan religions. Since so many of these superstitions do not involve a deity they are technically compatible with atheism (though not with skepticism in my opinion).
It's also important to note that most Atheists were raised in or around one of the big 3 monotheistic religions and therefore their knowledge of religion doesn't extend to Eastern faiths. It may seem difficult or pointless to criticize something you don't know much about and which is half way across the world and appears mostly benign.
Keep in mind that atheism has no tenants or core beliefs as it is, by definition, a non-belief. So individual atheists are free to hold any beliefs, including superstitious and supernatural ones, as long as they don't include a deity.
What you are describing is an Agnostic view.
Once an atheist admits to having spiritual beliefs in a religion like bhuddism or in supernatural phenomena they have come out as closet agnostics. Atheists don't "do religion" unless they "come out".
You make many very good and clearly thought out points in your response Titen-Sxull.
"It is very common in the West to assume that very ancient or very foreign beliefs have some sort of enhanced wisdom. " Yeah basically.
Many atheists are agnostics. The only supernatural belief you can't have if you're an atheist is a belief in god(s). Unfortunately not all atheists are skeptics or apply their skepticism properly, and thus we get atheists giving Buddhism a free pass.
for the purposes of rational debate it is wise to stick to dictionary meanings. What you are saying is contradictory. Think about: what force is organising all this complex higher Buddhist consciousness and reincarnation etc?
Atheists dispute the existence of God. Buddhism does not have a God. It is more a practical philosophy of developing a pure mind that is free from suffering.
Two of the most important and original concepts are the Four Holy Truths and the Eightfold Path. The path:
As you can see, it's hard for anyone to argue with that kind of religion.
Bhuddism has dozens of God's. If you try to Google "bhuddist deities" you will easily be enlightened about that.
Well, now we get into a definition of God versus gods (or deities). As I understand it, deities in Buddhism are human beings with greater spiritual powers than normal humans. They are not the God of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Yes, Buddhist 'worship' (if anything) enlightened teachers who were/are just like us. This is probably the biggest difference. As I was saying in my answer, ALL of those 'holy men' were human & taught the same message: followers deified them late
Please read about Kwan Yin and the other Buddhist God's who are spiritual beings.
There is only one God who is the God of both Christianity and Buddhism and all religions practicing compassion and tolerance to other races and religions.
Maybe they don't truly understand it. Buddhism to the Western atheist is meditation and positive thinking. Maybe throw in a "magic mantra" like the SGI does. Meditation has proven psychological and physical benefits (better sleep, reduced heart rate, steadier breathing, mental alertness, etc.). What they don't get is that in the East, Buddhism involves ritual, worship, and belief in Buddha as a deity, as well as believing in lesser deities like Bodhisatvas. It's not just about meditation and meditative chanting and positive thinking. Basically, there's two Buddhisms. One is the pop psychology version peddled in the West on talk shows and in books, and the other is the real version practiced by mainly old people in Eastern countries, or by immigrants from Eastern countries. They look very different. My family practices SGI Buddhism and I hate it. All they do is believe that chanting "namu-myoho-renge-kyo" a pledge to the Lotus Sutra, is in and of itself magical. This is maddeningly unscientific magical thinking, basically as silly as any other superstition. They also chant selected chapters from the Lotus Sutra twice daily in Japanese. This is supposed to help them "gain victory". But what they don't know or care about is that the Lotus Sutra and other Buddhist scriptures have a complex pantheistic hierarchy of deities, with Buddha being the supreme being. So I don't think you can really call yourself a Buddhist and an atheist, since Buddha is a God. There's no other way to see it. It's a religion. It has good points, but so do many religions. Being good doesn't make them any less of a religion. I think it's just a part of the fascination westerners have for Asian things. That's been going on since the Meiji era, when Japan started exporting goods to Europe, like the Dutch-prized blue-painted porcelain and scroll paintings and other things. People only call Buddhism atheistic because they haven't actually read Buddhist scriptures. Instead of getting it straight from the original source, they're often getting it secondhand from pop psychology bestseller book writing, talk show appearing snake oil salesmen. It's about as authentic as the idea of rubbing the Buddha's belly for good luck in a Chinese restaurant. I also don't know how anyone can believe in karma and reincarnation without a deity. If karma works because there are good and bad actions, then surely there has to be a god deciding what constitutes good and bad, a god who keeps score.
If these people went to a real temple and saw real prayers, real rituals, chanting, and bowing before a statue, they would not act like it's SO different from other religions.
Of course you are correct.
Atheists crave for some spiritual feelings and they try to change bhuddism into a pop cultural practice to rationalize their yearning for God.
it's your life. By definition Buddhism is a religion with numerous gods. Logic dictates that what you are describing is agnostic not atheist. We can't change the dictionary to suit an argument.
There is a subtle difference between the opening question 'why do many atheists ACCEPT Buddhism?' and the follow-up statement about atheists having a 'WARM SOFT SPOT for Buddhism'. Later in reply to a comment you say 'atheists who like Bhuddism are closet agnostics'.
Tthere is of course no single view among atheists, but it is possible for atheists to 'like' aspects of a belief system, or have a 'soft spot' for it, without 'accepting' all or any of the mythology. For myself, there are aspects of Christiantity that I like - I've even written a hub about my love of Christmas Carols - and yet I have no belief in God whatsoever.
I certainly have a soft spot for many Buddhist practices I have witnessed at first hand which are variously calming, charming, pacific and beautiful. In that sense I 'like' Buddhism and the influence it has in the lives of many. That does not make me a closet agnostic. I am atheist.
I think the appeal of Buddhism is that (although there are exceptions in every religion / philosophy) generally it is probably the most tolerant, least 'pushy' of belief systems. Certainly Buddhists as a general rule, tend to be less dogmatic than, for example, many in the Abrahamic faiths. It seems to be much more about the way one lives one's life, than about the mythology.
Regarding the issue of belief in God / gods in Buddhism which you raise, that does not have a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer. Some Buddhists believe in a pantheon of gods of greater or lesser power, perhaps reflecting the Hindu origins of Buddha, but others do not believe in any gods. That is almost a side issue - the central focus of the 'religion' or 'philosophy' are the teachings of Buddha, and he is most definitely not worshipped as a God.
I should say I am at ease with many Christian and some Muslim friends, but of course it is the more fervent and intolerant adherents of those faiths, who are the ones who attract the headlines and are most strident in trying to foist their beliefs on to others. Some have tried to do that to me. On the other hand, I have visited Buddhist Thailand many times, I have close friends who are Buddhist and I have stayed with a Buddhist family. I love visiting Buddhist temples and watching Buddhists at prayer, but none of that makes me a believer in any supernatural events or myths. All my Buddhist friends respect that and understand my thinking, and no one has ever tried to convert me. For all these reasons, I feel more at ease with Buddhism than with other belief systems.
This is,without a doubt,the best answer I've read so far.I would Love to have your depth.All due respect...
Thank you cheaptrick. Much appreciated.
Every bhuddist altar has a pantheon of God's. We are all potentially "Bhuddas" or as they say we are sleeping bhuddas. Certain realized beings are said to return to earth as quasi God like beings to teach others. A God of enlightenment.
Sorry - it is not 'incorrect'. As I explained, belief in a God / gods is not absolute in Buddhism. Many do not believe at all. For those who do, the concept is entirely different to Christian concepts of a God, and not central to Buddhist teachings.
It may not require you to affirm Buddha as God, but in Buddhist scriptures it's clear that he is a being similar to YHWH, eternal and all-powerful. "Enlightenment" and "righteousness/holiness" are similar concepts. Not so different.
It is different in that there is no 'all powerful' god of the Christian kind in Buddhism. requiring worship, and no compulsion for Buddhists to believe in an interactive god.
All bhuddist altars in all bhuddist temples have statues of Bhuddist gods and goddesses. These personages are central and are bowed down to and supplicated. Even pop culture atheists use a fat jolly Buddha as their main bhuddist God.
Oztinato all I can suggest is that you look at websites compiled by Buddhists, including teachers and institutions. I can provide the links, but it's difficult in these short exchanges to fully explain Buddhist belief / disbelief in the god concept.
It's OK I've studied Buddhism and other religions for years. I don't see Western pop Buddhist ideas as accurately defining Buddhism. I still think it's a good thing for agnostics or atheists to join a religion.
Who do you say Kwan Yin is?
Oztinato, it's not a good idea for an atheist to join a religion You seem to be fixated on Kwan Yin who is just one 'deity' (enlightened being) very popular in one school of Buddhism (and Taoism) mainly in China. But not comparable to Buddha
I mention Kwan Yin to give you a lead into researching bhuddist gods. We both know there are numerous gods and goddesses in bhuddism. All temples have images of deities.
Oztinato, whatever point anyone makes, you just keep repeating the same two or three absolute convictions you have about Buddhism. Tell me, why did you delete my reply to another comment in which you insisted I was agnostic rather than atheist?
My husband, who is a sort of Jewish-Buddhist at times, has this to say: God is for those who don't like the idea of the void. Buddhism is for those who don't like the idea of God. I'm sure he is quoting someone but I don't know who.
Of course, like most of the religions I have examined, Buddhism exists in both its ideal form and degraded forms. That's where the statues, for example, get confusing. Is the Buddha remembered with gratitude or worshiped?
I guess there is a sort of irreligious way to follow the ethical and philosophical teachings of many religious figures like Buddha and Jesus, but that's not the same thing as actually practicing a religion.
Only to those in denial.
I welcome them anyway to secretly practice their special religion as everyone needs such spiritual nourishment.
Doesn't everyone have a soft spot for Buddha? Even when I was a Christian, I remember that we were all sure that their beliefs were 'wrong'; but we couldn't really blame them for having them because they are (generally & usually) benign. No Buddhist has ever gone knocking on people's door to convert anyone - plus, they are often so NICE with their peaceful dispositions.
It should also be noted that Buddha's teachings are beyond twisted and watered down - just like every other ancient holy man. However, it is easier to understand those spiritual principles because they are so much simpler.
Btw, ALL of the major holy men throughout history taught the same dang thing - which is why all their religions all so similar, and yet slightly different from each other. They were all same basic messages that were freely giving to the audience of their time; and then the same messages were given though another person during another time... and so on. And with each new interpretation of each holy man's teachings - is how humans came up with each different religion. If we could all realize that - there would be nothing to fight over.
Those things are easy to see once you start unraveling religions. Lord Krishna's religion turned out particularly close to Christianity - and again, slightly different. It is in these simple, repetitive spiritual messages - combined with recent scientific discoveries over the past few decades - that we find the existence of 'God'.
Buddhists have a very spiritual life without hangups about their God being 'the right' one (as should we all). I think that is a message Atheists just plain 'ol don't have a problem with. They don't mind if other people have spiritual beliefs. It is when people insist that their bent beliefs should be adhered to in places where they don't belong - like government or their doorsteps.
Atheism refers to a lack of belief in God, a higher power. The only higher power Buddhists must believe in comes from within. You can call this consciousness and easily define it in spiritual yet non-supernatural terms. It's important to make the distinction between spirituality and religion.
That and it's possible but much more difficult to twist the tenets of Buddhism into violent religious rhetoric. Buddhism is also not a "power religion," meaning that people in most parts of the world don't face pressure to convert to it or follow its tenets for fear of retribution from its religious sects as they do with other major world religions.
Try reading up on Kwan Yin one of the main Buddhist Goddesses.
I think you're confusing the existence of deities in a pantheon with 1), Western conceptions of deity and 2) mandatory worship.
I can assure you I'm not.
It is well known that Bhuddism has a range of dieties. Also their universal consciousness runs the universe. This is a more refined view of an ultimate God.
Buddhism does not have a deity. It teaches personal strength from within. Buddha was someone who reached enlightenment and represents an ideal to strive for, rather than an all-powerful being deserving of worship. For all intents and purposes, Buddhism is an atheist religion.
It also bears repeating that atheism isn't anti-religion. It isn't even counter-religion, the two aren't mutually exclusive. So long as a religion doesn't require a belief in a god to participate, it can fit with atheism.
Hi Oztinanto..The New Age movement wouldn't exist if it weren't for the co opting of many ideas and beliefs from eastern and pagan religions.
There is a difference between Buddhism and other religions. The temples are serene quite places where one can meditate within their own mind. Meditation like deep prayer is proven to have positive effects on the mind and human soul (State of being). Chants are ways to focus one's energy on a single state or perhaps goal. Reincarnation is a religious belief that does not belong in pure Buddhism. I would suspect that belief belongs to the Hindu faith which is a religion often confused with Buddhism because the vast majority of Hindu also follow the practice of Buddhism. Kind of like how people confuse Christianity with Catholic.
I hope that I did an okay job of trying to make sense of the confusion. I am not a Buddhist and am going off of the information I learned in High School social studies nearly a quarter of a century ago.
Reincarnation is a central precept of bhuddism. Their temples have altars with their main gods as statues etc. It's a religion with numerous gods and goddesses.
One of the Buddhist gods is called Jesus. He is the god of all Christian Buddhists. I don't think Christian Buddhists consider Buddha to be a god and they likely don't worship other gods. You bring your religion with you into Buddhism .
Buddhism is a religion.Full stop. Buddhism believes in reincarnation, something you can not proof with hard facts and is pure believe. I had many discussions about this point.
There are also many different faction in Buddhism itself. As an atheist reincarnation ssounds to me like astrology or the believe in God/gods in whatever form.
The Buddhsist I know, and they are good friends of mine all have a religious background, may it be Catholic or Jewish. It would be interesting to do some research as to see what the background is of most Buddhists, I doubt it many where Atheists before but I could be wrong.
As an atheist I accept Buddhism just as I accept Islam or Christianity. Religion is a part of human history and society. It looks to me stupid though that all those religions claim to have the answer about life, the universe and everything else....
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