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How Buddhism is different from others


only1

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I feel the need for those interested in Buddhism to know why and where or how Buddhism is different from all other religions.

Occasionally, some say Buddhism is not a religion because there don't pray to any god; some say it's a philosophy due to all the undeniable or indisputable nice teachings on life and wisdom. Then there are those who say Buddhism is the same as Christianity or Islam which are all faith based.

Rather confusing to someone new to Buddhism, isn't it ?

In this thread, I wish to highlight one most important aspect of Buddhism which most people overlooked, intentionally or unintentionally, that is:

Buddhism until today, is entirely not debunked by science. Then some may say, while science has not discovered or prove anything in Buddhism true or false yet(especially on karma and rebirth), it does not mean they are true. This is right to say but Buddhism teachings are not logically defied in any way, unlike some beliefs in a creator god which had been both debunked by science and defied by logic. Eg how could people today speak different languages if they are really from the same 2 ancestors ? How could prayers to God be favourably answered ? What if Christians and Muslims pray to their same creator god wishing to get rid of the others ? Who gets it ? Of course there are many other beliefs in religions already proven by science to be false or already defied by logic but the beliefs of Buddhism remain unchanged and undisputed by both science and logic after over 2500 years.

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Wow. This post so all over the place I'm not sure where to start.

Religions proved to be false by science? Huh? As far as I know, no one has come back from the long sleep to report who is really running the show, if anyone is anyway. I don't believe there is any scientific proof in either direction.

Buddha seemed to deny the existence of a creator god, though it might be more accurate to say that he dismissed the idea as unimportant and irrelevant to mankind's journey to enlightenment.

I'd disagree about Buddhism not being faith based, especially in Thailand, but Thai Buddhism is pretty different from Buddhism anywhere else, it being part of the smaller Theravada branch for one thing, but also because of its unique mix of Buddhist teachings, local animist traditions and heavy Hindu influence.

Buddhists have faith in the Buddhas teachings being the path to enlightenment, if nothing else.

The rest of the OP is just too weird to respond to.

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Wow. This post so all over the place I'm not sure where to start.

Religions proved to be false by science? Huh? As far as I know, no one has come back from the long sleep to report who is really running the show, if anyone is anyway. I don't believe there is any scientific proof in either direction.

Buddha seemed to deny the existence of a creator god, though it might be more accurate to say that he dismissed the idea as unimportant and irrelevant to mankind's journey to enlightenment.

I'd disagree about Buddhism not being faith based, especially in Thailand, but Thai Buddhism is pretty different from Buddhism anywhere else, it being part of the smaller Theravada branch for one thing, but also because of its unique mix of Buddhist teachings, local animist traditions and heavy Hindu influence.

Buddhists have faith in the Buddhas teachings being the path to enlightenment, if nothing else.

The rest of the OP is just too weird to respond to.

I think you missed my point or went off topic. I only refer to where Buddhism differs from other religions.

What's weird are you referring ? Can you be more specific ?

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Be aware that there are many sects of Buddhism and their beliefs and practices differ.

Yes but I am just referring to what Buddhism differs from others in general.

Although Buddhism have different sects, their differences are not conflicting with each other, unlike Islam and Christianity where their major sects are in unfriendly terms.

The differences in the different sect of Buddhism are different area of emphasis but they compliment each other without conflicts.

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some beliefs in a creator god which had been both debunked by science and defied by logic. Eg how could people today speak different languages if they are really from the same 2 ancestors ? How could prayers to God be favourably answered ? What if Christians and Muslims pray to their same creator god wishing to get rid of the others ? Who gets it ? Of course there are many other beliefs in religions already proven by science to be false or already defied by logic but the beliefs of Buddhism remain unchanged and undisputed by both science and logic after over 2500 years.

That whole section strikes me as very weird. Not to mention several patently false statements.

Be aware that there are many sects of Buddhism and their beliefs and practices differ.

Yes but I am just referring to what Buddhism differs from others in general.

Although Buddhism have different sects, their differences are not conflicting with each other, unlike Islam and Christianity where their major sects are in unfriendly terms.

The differences in the different sect of Buddhism are different area of emphasis but they compliment each other without conflicts.

There have been plenty of wars between Buddhist sects, and wars perpetrated by Buddhist nations. Do you imagine that Zen Buddhism, a Japanese creation, was invented after ww2?

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Let people believe what they want as long as it doesn't adversely affect others. The big problems start when one person tries to persuade another person that their imaginary friend is more powerful/important/better than the other's. I find the whole premise of the original post to be irrelevant.

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Wow. This post so all over the place I'm not sure where to start.

Religions proved to be false by science? Huh? As far as I know, no one has come back from the long sleep to report who is really running the show, if anyone is anyway. I don't believe there is any scientific proof in either direction.

Buddha seemed to deny the existence of a creator god, though it might be more accurate to say that he dismissed the idea as unimportant and irrelevant to mankind's journey to enlightenment.

I'd disagree about Buddhism not being faith based, especially in Thailand, but Thai Buddhism is pretty different from Buddhism anywhere else, it being part of the smaller Theravada branch for one thing, but also because of its unique mix of Buddhist teachings, local animist traditions and heavy Hindu influence.

Buddhists have faith in the Buddhas teachings being the path to enlightenment, if nothing else.

The rest of the OP is just too weird to respond to.

I think you missed my point or went off topic. I only refer to where Buddhism differs from other religions.

What's weird are you referring ? Can you be more specific ?

Wrong question, start with is Buddhism (in its purest form, a religion?

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Wow. This post so all over the place I'm not sure where to start.

Religions proved to be false by science? Huh? As far as I know, no one has come back from the long sleep to report who is really running the show, if anyone is anyway. I don't believe there is any scientific proof in either direction.

Buddha seemed to deny the existence of a creator god, though it might be more accurate to say that he dismissed the idea as unimportant and irrelevant to mankind's journey to enlightenment.

I'd disagree about Buddhism not being faith based, especially in Thailand, but Thai Buddhism is pretty different from Buddhism anywhere else, it being part of the smaller Theravada branch for one thing, but also because of its unique mix of Buddhist teachings, local animist traditions and heavy Hindu influence.

Buddhists have faith in the Buddhas teachings being the path to enlightenment, if nothing else.

The rest of the OP is just too weird to respond to.

I think you missed my point or went off topic. I only refer to where Buddhism differs from other religions.

What's weird are you referring ? Can you be more specific ?

Wrong question, start with is Buddhism (in its purest form, a religion?

Yes. It fits the definition. I guess I saw that one as simply pointless to address.

Who decides 'purity'? That's the kind of question that could start a sectarian war.

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Buddhism is a philosophy , pure and simple , not a religion , even though it has been adopted in name by varying sects .

For the most part Thai Buddhism , as practiced by most Thais , has little or nothing to do with the Buddha philosophy , it is a form of paganism and worship of graven images .

Great respect is shown to Buddha's image , but no philosophical teachings are observed in daily life .

All religions are about believing , you join the club and adhere to its beliefs without thought or question . God is created by MAN in his own image ,

Buddhism of whichever branch is much the same .

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I'd say Buddhism very different in that locus of control is put on you, not man in the sky watching 24/7. Buddha said no one can save you, it is up to your own efforts. His teachings are what matter, not he himself. 4 noble truths "make sense" and don't depend on message from above. And this quote really sets apart from others, I believe:

"'Do not believe anything merely on the authority of your teachers and priests. But, whatever, after thorough investigation and reflection, you find to agree with reason and experience, as conducive to the good and benefit of one and all of the world at large, accept only that as true, and shape your life in accordance with it.' -Buddha"

Sounds quite a bit like scientific method, eh?

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religion is there to keep people stupid & poor

just look all the rich monks flying in their private jets

or the corrupt coorporations that donate millions / billions of other people's money in fraud, and when they ask the monastary to give it back, they clearly deny it their ever got or say no ....

poor people donating food to some fat dude's sitting around all day, playing their iphones, surfing the internet

no thank you

it's part of the folklore, but so is greed & corruption

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Timber is right, although I would call it a System for Living. It is probably the most "scientific" of all religions except for (arguably) scientology, which is a cult (?) rather than a major religion.

Theravada (of which Thai Buddhism is part) is the smaller "school" (The Teachings of the Elders) and pays a lot of attention to offerings, images, and animism especially among country people. It is also the "main" system in Cambodia, Laos etc. It is more "orthodox".

Mahayana (The Great Vehicle) is the "other" school and includes Tibetan Buddhism, which is a bit more mystical. Legends have it that Tibetan Lamas can fly or sit in iced water for 7 days. Zen is regarded as an offshoot, as is Ch'an (Chinese buddhism). Zen can be very complex, conceptually, or very easy (or both, or neither).

Eddy

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Buddhism is a philosophy. People who wish to manipulate others made it into a religion. Making it into a religion gave them power.

One main area where Buddha differs from religious manipulators is that he said to question all he says, whereas religions say believe what I say or be damned.

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religion is there to keep people stupid & poor

just look all the rich monks flying in their private jets

or the corrupt coorporations that donate millions / billions of other people's money in fraud, and when they ask the monastary to give it back, they clearly deny it their ever got or say no ....

poor people donating food to some fat dude's sitting around all day, playing their iphones, surfing the internet

no thank you

it's part of the folklore, but so is greed & corruption

religion is there because humans feel the need for it. period

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I have nothing to add to what's been said above, the other posters are right, Buddhism isn't necessarily not a religion and faith does play a strong role in Mahayana traditions. Personally, I am not overly interested in scientifically proving what is what, but there are some recent movements, in western Buddhism, that tries to take this tack. As I am not particularly interested in wstern rationalist adaptations of Buddhism, I don't know the names of the teachers, tho I think they are all UK based.

I would suggest going to Kinokuniya Books in Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok. They have the best English language Buddhist section in Thailand. I am sure you could find some good books on Buddhism that would more than answer your questions.

Also, the Dalai Lama is interested in the science-Buddhism dialog and he has a website, which, last i checked, has 100's of hours of talks on all kinds of Buddhist subjects, the talks are free of charge.

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Be aware that there are many sects of Buddhism and their beliefs and practices differ.

That is very true! Believe me I am dealing with it now in life... But I can live with it, they might not like it, but my father-in-law was a true Thervada years ago. We had a great relationship, and I loved

our time together. many older people here that are Thai miss the old school. These are the ones that I love, and yes I live in America, but the beliefs have changed so much. So I stand with the elders, it was so different back then... It was a more understanding culture. Does not take much, to see it in these days... They are the old ones that I admired and still do, went to beautiful mountain tops, and yes we talked. This point of life on this earth, is one that I never regret. But hey back then the elders mattered, and today in America we still believe the same. Any questions?wai2.gifwai2.gifwai2.gif

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Wrong question, start with is Buddhism (in its purest form, a religion?

That's also a wrong question. The right question, if that's where you want to begin, is "Does Buddhism, in its purist form, exist?" Better "What is meant by the phrase in its purist form"? If you take any other religion and substitute its name for Buddhism you'll see how pointless the question is. In fact, when the Buddha was asked whether God exists, he pointed out that we can never know. The same answer applies to this sort of "purest form" question

To the extent that Buddhism posits "enlightenment" - which is arguably the same as what Christianity means by "holiness" - it is a religion, not just a set of rules for living.

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Buddhism is a philosophy. People who wish to manipulate others made it into a religion. Making it into a religion gave them power.

One main area where Buddha differs from religious manipulators is that he said to question all he says, whereas religions say believe what I say or be damned.

Is an invitation to find out for yourself enough to make it a philosophy, rather than a religion?

The main reason why Monkhood (Bikkhus) was set up is because the training one must adopt is exhaustive and for most, not possible without full time practice.

In other words, to try for oneself requires a life of ascetic dedication and letting go of anything to do with attachment, including lifes pleasures, property, and wealth.

One must devote ones life to finding out.

Hardly a simple task.

To offer ones life in the pursuit of a philosophy with a possibility of having found nothing with only a few years left to live.

Sure, the training may result in compassion and a better person, but this outcome can also be the result of living an ethical life.

I'm not talking about those who misuse the frock.

Many call Buddhism a philosophy due to the way of life one adopts, but as much as it is a path, it is also very much the end prize (Awakening) isn't it?

There in lies the answer.

Doesn't it depend on "what Awakening is" or "what Awakening has been indicated to be", which determines whether Buddhism is a religion or philosophy?

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Some of you guys saying that Buddhism is not a religion remind me a lot of guys who insist that their Thai girl is "different". She may be different, but she is still a Thai girl.

religion
[ri-lij-uh n]

noun
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

By definition, Buddhism IS a religion, but I do agree it is also different from most other religions in that there is generally far more emphasis placed on ones individual experiences than on dogma.

I also see how Buddhist ideas appeal to a western scientific mind, as Buddhism (again, generally) focuses on a cause and effect relationship between thoughts/actions and the results/effects of those thoughts/actions.

This is very different from the more common religious mindset that there are rules which, when broken, will result in punishment from some judgmental higher power.

Now back to 'pure' Buddhism. I would posit that the only pure Buddhism was that which came directly from the Buddhas mouth. It has not existed since the day he drew his last breath. His words were recorded, passed down, interpreted and translated into many languages, but each of those steps added a little more human bias and error into the equation. After 2500 years or so, there is no way to know what is 'pure' and what is not.

I say pick the flavor of Buddhism that works for you. If you like staring at a wall, go for it. If you want to light candles and incense at the Wat, go for it.

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how is Buddhism different from others? 'others' being the operative and mostly undefined qualifier in this discussion. IMO, religions are in the business of assigning a method of Groupthink (Orwellian) metadata to the essentially exclusive or divisive attributes within a set of socio-political memes...and there exists extreme boundary conditions, as exemplified by the Fundamentalist beliefs of both Christian as well as Islamic 'true believers'. Islamic extremists will have your head if you do not 'submit' to Allah. Christians-the born again Southern Baptists or Pentecostals of American issue-have a more long-term punishment in mind; as described by the comedian George Carlin, paraphrased: "...Christians ask you to believe that there is an invisible man, living in the sky, who hears and sees everything that everyone does; and he has a set of ten rules. and if you break those rules he will send you to a place where you will burn in agony until the end of time...but, HE LOVES YOU!!" (RIP George)

Buddhism seems to be a kind of mental discipline-like Tai Chi or Aikido...but my essential mantra, if I have one is: JESUS SAVES, but Moses Invests.

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Let people believe what they want as long as it doesn't adversely affect others. The big problems start when one person tries to persuade another person that their imaginary friend is more powerful/important/better than the other's. I find the whole premise of the original post to be irrelevant.

That what really bothers when I see farangs on the side walk talking to people about christianity. They're attempting to cabrupt people by trying to make them trade something that is real for something that is not. They're the ones that should be looking at Buddhism and be shown how christianity was invented by the Romans based off religion of the Ancient Egyptians.
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Let people believe what they want as long as it doesn't adversely affect others. The big problems start when one person tries to persuade another person that their imaginary friend is more powerful/important/better than the other's. I find the whole premise of the original post to be irrelevant.

That what really bothers when I see farangs on the side walk talking to people about christianity. They're attempting to cabrupt people by trying to make them trade something that is real for something that is not. They're the ones that should be looking at Buddhism and be shown how christianity was invented by the Romans based off religion of the Ancient Egyptians.

You can not defend buddhism by attacking christianity.

PS. I am an Atheist.

PPS. No, there are no 3 typo's, I corrected the spelling corrector 555.

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Let people believe what they want as long as it doesn't adversely affect others. The big problems start when one person tries to persuade another person that their imaginary friend is more powerful/important/better than the other's. I find the whole premise of the original post to be irrelevant.

That what really bothers when I see farangs on the side walk talking to people about christianity. They're attempting to cabrupt people by trying to make them trade something that is real for something that is not. They're the ones that should be looking at Buddhism and be shown how christianity was invented by the Romans based off religion of the Ancient Egyptians.

so youre alright with someone trying to persuade someone else as long as they are promoting the concept you agree with??

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