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Aum Shinrikyo[edit]

Aum Shinrikyo was not a Buddhist sect. It was a cult that borrowed elements of Yoga, Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism, along with ideas borrowed from science fiction and dreamed up by the cult's founder. Also sounds like you're buying into CP's Hollywood Values schtick by riduculing Buddhism based on its popularity among a few actors. We are not amused PoorEd 15:24, 13 February 2008 (EST)

"They also rarely hold on to traditional beliefs when they are discredited by science, unlike Christianity." Traditional beleifs like baby Buddha walking and lotus blossoms flowering from his steps? Or that women can't become enlightened (It must be chromosonal!) Or how magical beings who acheive enlightenment want to come back and help us out! Or reincarnation, dispite no evidence for reincarnation ever being found? Is this site about being RATIONAL, or is this site just anti-Christian? Morgan 18:21, 30 January 2009 (EST)

Naah: we're just ignorant. Feel free to edit - it's a WIKI. Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 18:30, 30 January 2009 (EST)

Buddha's soteriology consists of indifference to the evils of the world. Nirvana is achieved when you attain complete detachment. This is not compatible with Catholicism, because they are called by the Great Commission to teach the gospel of repentance unto eternal life, and heal the whole world of the consequences of sin (through the power of the Holy Spirit), just like Jesus did in Palestine for three years. However, Protestantism is somewhat closer to Buddhism in this respect. Many are content to "get saved" and then spend the rest of their time on the front porch detached from life, whittling in their rocking chair until the rapture, which itself is the ultimate detachment. They don't dare get engaged in the world trying to reverse evil, because that's "salvation based on works".


10:09, 8 April 2009 (EDT)

Following Moved from main page talk[edit]


Speaking as Buddhist (bias alert!) as well as an atheist and a Pastafarian, I think the Buddhism article is unfairly biased due to the common belief that Buddhism is religion, when in reality it is much more akin to philosophy. Of course there are various texts relating to various gods, bit almost none of these are recognized outside of specific sects and none of them at all have to due with the core of Buddhism. Buddha was a logical and rational teacher, not a dogmatic one, and in the gospels of Buddha he is quoted as saying something along the lines of "The dharma is not faith, the dharma is 'come and see'", the point being that the Buddha placed much importance on rationalism and experimentation. Whereas Christianity and the like are focused on dogma and faith first and philosophy second, Buddhism is based almost solely on philosophy and morality, with immediate implications. At the very least I would include a link to Wikipedia which is extremely informative and verifies a lot of what I've said. I just found RationalWiki recently and think it is hella tight, yo. Of course it is biased, which makes it a lot funnier, as well as informative, because it doesn't try to be PC, but I think RationalWiki alienates Buddhists because the writer of the article focuses unfairly on very, very minor parts of Buddhism instead on the useful and rational parts. I believe many rational people would actually consider Buddhism, or at least parts of it (like dependent origination, the four noble truths, the eight-fold path), if they came to the Buddhism page here and saw the logical and dominant parts of the philosophy instead of a very misguided summary. Just some thoughts from a less-than-nobody that enjoys the overall rationality of this site.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 22:00, 30 April 2009 (UTC)}}

Feel free to edit the article. It's a Wiki. ToastToastand marmite 22:00, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Woah, crazysigs. --Kels 22:01, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Eh... I am both biased and inexperienced, and I don't want to ruin the spirit of the article, since it's not supposed to be encyclopedic. It really isn't a big deal and I probably should've kept my thoughts to myself anyways. But thank you for the invitation! 22:37, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah. Mea Culpa: sorted. ToastToastand marmite 22:02, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Nobody is a less-than nobody, for a start. Why not join up? we have rhubarb crumble! Anyway, i was a buddhist for ten years and while it has a lot that is good, I wouldn't call it 100% rational - for instance I always felt that karma and reincarnation were pretty much a given, and I never felt at ease with the explanations I read. I also felt that Buddhism didn't do enough to resist the collapse of eastern asia into war and dictatorship in the twentieth century; its emphasis on detachment and personal development was probably misplaced in regards to the appalling crimes carried on in those countries. There needed to be more people like Thich Nhat Hanh really. Totnesmartin 22:02, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

No, definitely not 100% rational. I think karma and reincarnation are really nuanced in Buddhism, what with there not technically being a 'self', so I don't even try to understand them or their explanations. Not yet, anyways. I always thought that those concepts played second fiddle to the more humanistic aspects of Buddhism, but maybe my interpretations of the most important aspects of Buddhism are not mainstream. I had never even heard of Thich Nhat Hanh! Thank you for mentioning him. The only 'Thich' I was fimiliar with was Thich Quang Duc, and the pictures of his self-immolation always stirred me. I will almost definitely join up, if only for the rhubarb crumble ;) and I'll try to remember that this is site is more of a purpose-driven and well-formatted blog than an encyclopedia, as its resemblance to Wikipedia threw me off for a little while there. 22:37, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
And now I'm a member. :) Clepper 22:42, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Needs more work[edit]

To start with, the only header after the TOC is "Buddhism in the West." This article needs some reorganization and added content. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:51, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, then. Thank you. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:22, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Atheistic/agnostic religion?[edit]

I am no expert on this issue but it seems to me there is a contradiction here. We say in the intro:

  • Buddhism may be considered to be an "atheistic/agnostic religion." This is mostly because unlike the Abrahamic religions, Buddhists believe that the world isn't ruled by a single god and don't always view Buddha as a religious deity like God (although some Buddhists do not fully deny the existence of God).

and later:

  • There are generally two chapters to being a Buddhist. There is the personal aspect, in which one aims to achieve enlightenment or improve themselves generally, and there is religion aspect, in which one often practices chanting ceremonies and give offerings to various deities on a regular basis.

The first section seems to read as though anybody who doesn't believe in monotheism is an atheist/agnostic. It says "not ruled by a single god" - which is different from saying "not ruled by any gods". (I accept that they do not claim that Buddha is God.) The second quote refers to giving offerings to "various deities". I imagine that there is also some assumption that said deities exist, otherwise giving offerings to them would seem to be somewhat of a waste..

So why are we saying it's an "atheistic/agnostic religion."?--BobSpring is sprung! 17:04, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

OK, I've cut that bit.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:34, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Well cut. In Buddhism the ultimate state, Nirvana, is godless, but there are gods within Buddhist mythology and literature: Kuan Yin, Mara etc. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:44, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
It is my understanding that there are different Buddhisms, and that in some of them you have mythical creatures and deities, while in others you have none of that (read it in some high school text book, don't quote me on that!). For example, in Tibet you have a special type of Buddhism called 'Magical Buddhism' (I translated this from German, term may not actually exist in English), where Buddhism is associated with various magical and mythical creatures. Nullahnung (talk) 16:56, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Use of the term 'god'[edit]

I cannot claim to be an expert on the subject, but to my understanding, the Buddhist entities commonly referred to as 'gods' by English speakers are rather different from the Western conception of 'gods' (even the Western polytheistic gods). I think it might be helpful to give at least a somewhat simplified explanation of this on the page.

Of course, and anyone who has a more in-depth knowledge of the subject is welcome (and encouraged) to correct/clarify. - Gameboy (talk) 03:19, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Is anyone working on this?[edit]

is anyone currently or planning on editing this article? I wouldn't mind having a crack at it but dont want to tread on anyone's tootsiesCwon (talk) 03:48, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Last edit was a month ago and I'm pretty sure no one else has expressed an interest to work on it. Scarlet A.pngsshole 03:49, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Crack away~ --Dumpling (talk) 04:02, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

"There is no Heaven or Hell in Buddhism"[edit]

That isn't true. There are plains of existence where the wicked are punished between incarnations. Depends on which sects, naturally.--User:Brxbrx/sig 02:36, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

I take it that writing about them breaks some sort of self-imposed rule against doing anything constructive? ArchieGoodwin (talk) 16:14, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh would you fuck off already? You're like Mikalos, except instead of stalking and flaming Rob, you're stalking and flaming me--User:Brxbrx/sig 17:49, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
With you on that Bricks. Scream!! (talk) 17:53, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Whole scale change[edit]

I'm reverting the stuff done by the BON last night. He, she or it removed much of what we had that was actually referenced and added things that are troubling like "Buddhists worship the Buddha" which doesn't fit into anything I've read. I'm not a buddhist, I've only read about it as course work in class, so perhaps the BON would like to come restate his or her case? Pink mowse.pngGodotDear god, fucking grow up 17:01, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Edit note. I added the part about "buddhism is just another religion" back into the article. Pink mowse.pngGodotDear god, fucking grow up 17:11, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
BONs don't restate their cases, they just "But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:20, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
My concern here is he or she does seem to have *some* good points, and seems to be more knowledgeable about the topic, but at the same time, there are some really wierd, non-traditional ways of seeing Buddhism here. So I'm not exactly sure what to make of it. Is it someone who just hates religion, blasting all religions? are they really making useful points that come from someone who has been in/around buddhism? anyhow... i'm reading it section by section. seeing what can be parsed as good stuff, as our article is a bit .... sketchy. Pink mowse.pngGodotDear god, fucking grow up 17:25, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Much of it seems good to me. Objects of worship is a lot more complicated, though. That needs to be cut or changed. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:34, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
That's why I'm going through each section. I'm also bugged that he or she cut what was already there. But it'll all work out! I could get my mother in law to write this article. she's CONSTANTLY telling me why i need to go to Temple with her. sighs. And you thought they didn't prosyltize. ;-) Pink mowse.pngGodotDear god, fucking grow up 17:35, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
It looked decent enough to me, only one or two bits seemed a little odd but if you have the knowledge to review it, please do. Wholesale changes are always worth reviewing first. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 17:49, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Edit note: re-added much of the parts of "buddhist teachings", but dumbed them down a bit. Referenced what I kept from Wiki. What was not highlighted on wiki, I pulled as some of is it perhaps true, but not really mainstream. Took some of the uber technical out. Pink mowse.pngGodotDear god, fucking grow up 17:54, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

I am the BON in question. My impulse to make changes arose from my initial reaction to the article, which struck me as superficial and overly humorous in tone. In view of the impressive achievements of Buddhist scholarship--including a surprising level of self-criticism--it would be a shame if skeptics proved unable to rise to this level. (This is not to say that all, or most, Buddhists are self-critical, or that liberal Buddhists qualify as rationalists.)

You are quite right about the need for footnotes, and I will do my best to supply these as soon as you are done with your edits. On the issue of "worshipping" Buddhas, I admit there may be a translation issue ("worship" vs. "venerate," to use the old Roman Catholic terminology), but in virtually any tradition you will find Buddhists bowing to Buddha images, for example. For that matter, I can't think of any tradition that doesn't revere the Three Jewels, though I may be wrong, or there may be other ways to conceive of this. (Many Chinese people call themselves "Buddhists" but are apathetic towards the Three Jewels; they are perhaps better described as followers of the Chinese folk religion.)

What else would you consider a "weird" or "nontraditional" way of looking at Buddhism? Peter A. Jackson is well-known for his insistence that the Four Noble Truths are NOT the foundational Buddhist teaching, since many sects do not emphasize them. This is indeed a "nontraditional" approach (in terms of the "tradition" of Theravada-focused modernist academic writing represented by e.g. Walpola Rahula) but it has much to recommend it. --Dawud

Hi! You seem to have confused us with an encyclopedia. RationalWiki has SPOV (S for Snarky), although any superficiality is more a lack of expertise or habit of laziness than an intended goal to fill the wiki with superficial articles. I'm not an expert in Buddism so I am not questioning the content of your arguments. Ochotona princepsnot a pokémon 23:47, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Citation needed[edit]

"the involvement of Buddhist sangha in fomenting anti-Tamil violence in Sri Lanka could be construed as a counterexample."

Not saying this is not true, but it needs a citation. (talk) 23:28, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

That top quote was pure BS[edit]

I removed the top quote because I believe the comment beneath it was terrible, for two reasons.

  1. The sense the Dalai Lama intended was not "Buddhism is kindness," but rather "I believe in kindness first, rather than Buddhism." Meaning: don't cling to the words, or the entrenched hierarchies or whatever, but follow the message of kindness. The Lama would be the first to repudiate such violence, and the implication that he would turn a blind eye to it is astoundingly wrong.
  2. Plenty of philosophies, religions, scientific theories (any group of ideas or beliefs really) have been used to justify atrocities. Creationists harp on about how "evolution leads to genocide" and we rightly counter that this doesn't make the idea any less true. It doesn't make a difference even if it's true. It's nonsensical! You simply cannot judge ideas by their effects, or the crimes committed by their worst adherents. It's a complete non sequitur.

If someone wants to justify putting it back in, I'd like to hear their argument on this page. Wehpudicabok (talk) 04:52, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

The quote would belong better in the Dalai Lama page than here. I think the comment is a legitimate criticism (of Lamaism & Tibetan governance, not Buddhism as a whole) since the Dalai Lama's public image & the popular support he has gained internationally for the cause of Tibetan independence do tend to romanticise the country's history & culture, which hasn't always been tolerant & peaceful. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:18, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
But it's anachronistic! The quote was from the fourteenth Lama, who assumed the position in 1950. Holding him responsible for the feudal society that preceded him is like blaming Obama for antebellum slavery. Wehpudicabok (talk) 17:30, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Desire in Buddhism[edit]

If desire is the cause of misery in Buddhism, what can we do? Don't we need desire in order to do anything? Desire to learn, hard work in order to achieve a goal, etc.? Did the Buddha mean something different in his teachings about desire that I'm not aware of?

I think we just need to live and be ourselves, and not let anything get in our way. Religion has drawbacks, and is created by men. Bumpy Toad (talk) 18:55, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Well, people practice asceticism to get away from certain desires. It's not a far stretch to imagine that what Buddhism means in this case is not just to cut every kind of desire (like, the desire to achieve enlightenment at the very least is something Buddhists have, I'd presume), but to cut as many of them as is feasible to make sure you don't find yourself in any sort of bad mood or anything like that due to a desire not being fulfilled. That's as far as I know. Nullahnung (talk) 19:09, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Buddhism need not be an ascetic practice. One may distinguish what is appropriate for monks from what is appropriate for householders. In a monastic community, even during lengthy retreats, there is still work to be done. So the community may continue to function, the residents often alternate between silent contemplation and more active working practices.
Beware of trying to reach the core of the teaching by trying to parse fragments of English translation from here or there. Perhaps an analogy to music will be helpful: Some people call certain lines, spots, and other symbols on paper "music," when in fact those are just the "notes," in the sense of aids to memory. Music is sound produced by intent, not marks on paper.
While dukkhaWikipedia is often translated as "suffering," its etymological root has to do with the axle hole of a turning wheel, when the hole is in poor condition. Instead of using the word "misery," one might as well talk about a squeaky wheel with a dry bearing, rolling with friction and unneeded effort, leading to difficulty in making smooth progress. The conditions in which dukkha arises are sometimes said to go along with "desire" or "attachment," but some anglophone practitioners prefer to use the word "clinging."
There are any number of books which do better at explaining this than I can. Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught is one of them. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:48, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh, yes, I see. It is always tricky when there are cultural and language differences to consider in translations. It is easy to get caught up on translated words and misdirected. It is difficult to grasp Buddhism mentally. Very difficult. Too many aspects and versions. Always good to read more. Nullahnung (talk) 20:09, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

B. denies eternal soul?[edit]

First thing that I learned in my university class on Buddhism: That's complicated.

Buddha himself expressly refused to answer the exact question whether an eternal soul exists or not. Sophophobe (talk) 19:41, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Buddhism is nothing but a battery of equivocations and ambiguous language. It teaches nothing. All it does is keep from actual self-understanding. 13:44, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
"Actual self-understanding" sounds similar to "No True Scotsman" to me. Nullahnung (talk) 14:13, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Talking about Buddhism is like dancing about architecture. (Like the best violin rosin, the best metaphors are stolen ones.) Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:20, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Story of Buddha as ship's captain?[edit]

Just rolled back this addition:

Many believe that Buddhism teaches a universal and ubiquitous pacifistic lifestyle. Evidence to the contrary can be found in a story involving the Buddha himself. While captaining a ship, the Buddha discovered a criminal on board whose intention was to kill the other 500 passengers. The Buddha knew that informing the other passengers of this man's intentions might lead to chaos, and perhaps even catalyze more killings. So, acting in compassion, he killed the criminal.

Where does that story come from? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:16, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

"No true Buddhist"[edit]

Obviously a play on "no true scotsman" but is it really a fallacy when it comes to something like a religion? I'll use two examples (Buddhism and skateboarding) while referencing the origin.

The origin (basically) involves a Scotsman doing something which another Scotsman believes is not "Scotsman" behavior. "Scotsman" is a term referring to a person of Scotland, it is very broad. And so a good and a bad person from Scotland can be rightly called a Scotsman.

But let's look at skateboarding. A skateboarder is one who skateboards, a skateboard being a plank of wood, trucks, and wheels. If he rides the skateboard as a hobby, he is a skateboarder. If he doesn't ride a skateboard at all, then he isn't a skateboarder. Therefore, one who doesn't ride a skateboard is "not a true skateboarder" because he doesn't ride a skateboard, at most he just identifies as a skateboarder.

So what about Buddhism (and possibly other religions)? In Buddhist scripture, it is said that a follower of dhamma (a Buddhist) is a person who follows the eightfold path or has reached the end. Why? Because the eightfold path is the development of virtue (which is specifically defined), concentration (which is specifically defined), and wisdom (which is specifically defined), which leads one to nirvana (which is specifically defined). A Buddhist extremist, although claiming to follow the path, is not. Why? Because he is giving rise to unwholesome mental states and therefore is lacking in virtue, concentration, and wisdom. He's not restraining his sense faculties, his body, his speech, or his mind. He does not see the world as it is, so as to give rise to the factors of the path. Instead, he believes in what he wants to believe in and does what he wants to do — this is what the Buddha called "unwholesome" and the mark of "heedlessness".

So basically: a person calling himself a Buddhist but not following any Buddhist principles (which are principles of the mind, not the appearance of the body) is not a "true Buddhist", he's simply calling himself a Buddhist. A person who doesn't follow the Buddhist teachings is not a true Buddhist, in the same way that a donkey is not a cow, a Karate master is not a tai chi master or a bowl of cereal is not a basket of laundry.

I don't think this is the same as a "no-true scotsman" fallacy because a scotsman is defined by their nationality, not their behavior. A skateboarder is defined by what he does, not by what he calls himself. And so it is with a Buddhist, Christian, etc.

It would be fallacious to say "no true scotsman rapes women", but not fallacious to say "no true scotsman is of chinese descent born and raised in China" or maybe even "no true scotsman is born and raised in China".

The "no true scotsman" fallacy applied to Buddhism would be something along the lines of "no true Buddhist eats meat". It's a fallacy because there is nothing "un-Buddhist" about eating meat, since eating meat is not inherently unwholesome. If a person eats meat with mindfulness and a wholesome state of mind, that's in line with dhamma. If eating meat is accompanied by hatred, then it would be correct (non-fallacious) to say "no true Buddhist eats with hatred" — the meat actually has nothing to do with it.

So from that, you can say that I'm implying "no true scotsman" is something that, depending on circumstances, can be fallacious or non-fallacious.

Am I committing a "no true 'no-true scotsman'" fallacy? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 18:19, 29 October 2014

I think so, but it's certainly less obvious than the Scotsman example. To me, your point seems to be that, without perfect practice, you can't be truly Buddhist. It seems as if a crappy Buddhist is not a Buddhist. I disagree. A crappy Buddhist is just a Buddhist who is not so good at following the precepts. Now, if you'd made the point about good/bad Buddhist rather than true/not Buddhist, I'd not be as bothered, not enough to intervene, at least.
To oversimplify, I see being in a religion as being more like a continuum while your argument seems to not negate the continuum, but instead impose a cutoff point, beyond which a person earns the official religion label.
Btw, I really really prefer having this discussion about Buddhism rather than some variants of Christianity. It's somehow much more pleasant and calm. Credit to you for that! MarmotHead (talk) 16:45, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I think enlightenment would be the place to draw a (conventional) line between "Buddhist" and "Non-Buddhist", since the first stage of enlightenment is where faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha is truly established; before enlightenment you're just finding the way and trying to get things straight. I don't know if "good" or "bad" would be the best words to use, maybe "proficient" or "not proficient". This is just my thought though, and it's all just conventional. Getting caught up in conventions is risky business.
Yeah good/bad are a bit judgmental. I was being sloppy. In your terms, I'd actually qualify as extremely "not proficient" which, if you say it in a friendly way, you can call "ignorant". I do appreciate the softening of your dichotomy. That part I can judge. The rest (Dhamma, Sangha, etc.) is actually beyond me despite the best efforts of a meditation instructor (I got too hung up in positioning). — Unsigned, by: MarmotHead / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 15:41, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
I think 'buddhist and 'buddha' are being conflated here. A perfect buddhist is a buddha, but an imperfect one is still a buddhist. You could do everything opposite to what buddhism says you should, and still be a buddhist, all you have to do is claim to be a buddhist. Whether you will ever become enlightened, thus being a buddha, depends on how good of a buddhist you become. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs