1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Is Buddhism a Religion?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    70,551
    Ratings:
    +28,623
    Religion:
    Erotic Dancing Girls
    Are any of the various Buddhisms -- or "branches of Buddhism" -- a religion?

    If not, then why not? If your reasoning is that this or that branch of Buddhism fails to worship gods, then why is it necessary to worship gods before something is a religion? Do you have a solid reason for saying it is necessary to worship gods before something can be considered a religionn? Or are you just messing with us?
     
    • Creative Creative x 1
  2. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    6,543
    Ratings:
    +7,346
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    As I see it, inasmuch as atheism is a religion.

    I suppose it would depend on how one defines religion.

    Either Buddhism or atheism can be if we use definitions two or three of the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

    Definition of RELIGION
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    28,246
    Ratings:
    +13,669
    Religion:
    Germanic Folk Revival
    Yes, of course. It's basically just Westerners that push the inane argument that it isn't a religion because of our Abrahamic lenses we're viewing it through.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    10,309
    Ratings:
    +3,440
    Religion:
    ☿ Mercuræn Buddhist & Ordained Pastafarian
    What would you call the Eightfold Path, then?
     
  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Messages:
    6,543
    Ratings:
    +7,346
    Religion:
    Advaitist Hindu
    A path or worldview?

    I have my "religion" listed as Advaitist Hindu, but because of my views, I still hesitate to call it a "religion."

    But @Saint Frankenstein may have a valid point. My hesitation may be a result of conditioning.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    10,309
    Ratings:
    +3,440
    Religion:
    ☿ Mercuræn Buddhist & Ordained Pastafarian
    I have no qualms calling Buddhism a religion. (Maybe because I'm loathe to allow the Abrahamics to hijack the word religion, perhaps.)
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3,843
    Ratings:
    +2,875
    I reckon Buddhism is a religion for religious Buddhists and not a religion for non-religious Buddhists.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. MikeDwight

    MikeDwight Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2019
    Messages:
    839
    Ratings:
    +63
    Religion:
    Presbyterian
    Buddhism is totally interesting in adherence. The majority of women that light candles to a religion. Or the monastic tradition of the orange robed men. What is the effect on people in those regions?

    How is it that these places assume that everyone is guilty of sleeping around and that they can imprison everyone else on this? Western Religion and society at least put sexuality mostly in a private context, purposefully even in the Testaments regulated and put sexual interaction in a strict channel of occurrence. In my experience, any sneaking suspicion, the wrong location, yo act strange, you could be years of denials being trumpeted as a confession, etc, games about making tiny confessions in construction paper into signed memo, etc etc. Buddhism doesn't seem to make any order for people.
     
  9. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2019
    Messages:
    1,006
    Ratings:
    +689
    Religion:
    Creedalist Christian
    Oh, look @BSM1, a thread just for you to make your point in. :D
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    70,551
    Ratings:
    +28,623
    Religion:
    Erotic Dancing Girls
    Want to do a fun, fun, fun thought experiment my fashioned-challenged friend?

    If so...

    List all the traits or characteristics of Buddhism that are basically religious traits or characteristics. e.g. clergy, temples, holy or sacred scriptures, monks and nuns, etc, etc.

    Now list all the traits or characteristics of Buddhism that are basically reasons for believing Buddhism is not a religion. e.g. worship and/or belief in deity is optional, rather than required. Plus what else?

    Which list is longer? How much longer is it?
     
  11. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    24,063
    Ratings:
    +7,946
    Buddhism is a religion. Secular Buddhism seems to part from the culture/traditions that make up the practice and theology of The Dharma. I feel secular buddhism is an influence of an christian environment. Every other person define religion as a political machine; so, it dilutes the purpose and beautiful of religion when compared to others.

    A lot of people who worship in Buddhism, worship [give reverence or honor] Bodhisattvas and I don't know how many versions of Buddhas. I don't know which lineages put more focus on gods and goddesses than others but it's not in the abrahamic sense.

    It's not necessary to honor the different incarnations of The Buddha and many don't honor the bodhisattvas given their school and/or lineage. Worshiping gods isn't the central theme of Practice; so, it depends on the person.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Messages:
    7,992
    Ratings:
    +5,924
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Being married to someone who is nominally Buddhist and having been to Japan on several occasions Buddhism certainly appears to be a religion. As stated by another, the drive to classify it as 'not a religion' appears to be driven by some Westerners, presumably based on the questionable premise that Buddhism is atheistic. While Buddhism is practiced by many who consider themselves atheists in the West, there are clearly theistic aspects to a Buddhist world view in at least some places where it has been practiced for centuries.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3,843
    Ratings:
    +2,875
    I really wish you had phrased this differently - it has completely distracted my thoughts!
     
  14. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3,843
    Ratings:
    +2,875
    OK - thanks Adrian - you've got my mind back on the pertinent (as opposed to impertinent) question...

    I think that needs a bit more data - what are these 'theistic aspects'? And does having a worldview with 'theistic aspects' make that worldview a religion?
     
  15. MikeDwight

    MikeDwight Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2019
    Messages:
    839
    Ratings:
    +63
    Religion:
    Presbyterian
    Good catch siti! Good catch! A joke! Skipping ahead...
    All people like to say over there is syncretism, hindu is from buddhism, is from Shintoism, but they have Establishment movements. They have Choices in history. How is it they all seem to despise butchery?
     
  16. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Messages:
    7,992
    Ratings:
    +5,924
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    Pure Land Buddhism is an example of Buddhism that most here would consider theistic, even a few of the sceptics.

    Pure Land Buddhism and Amitābha Buddha

    NB I started another thread exploring to what extent Buddha was a theist.

    To what extent was Gautama Buddha a theist or an atheist?
     
  17. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3,843
    Ratings:
    +2,875
    Syncretism? Butchery? I'm afraid you have lost me entirely!
     
  18. steveb1

    steveb1 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    159
    Ratings:
    +86
    Religion:
    Jodo Shinshu Buddhism
    According to my definition of religion, Buddhism is a religion.

    In my view, a religion must offer, or at least claim to offer, an immediate connection to a "sacred Transcendent" (which of course goes by many names in many different schools, philosophies, religions and spiritual systems).

    If a system calls itself, or is called, a religion but it does not claim to offer contact or merger with a sacred Transcendent, then it is not a religion at all, but rather a social-uplift club, a self-help model, or some other "secular" paradigm.

    This is why I do not think of, or call, secular, "atheist" or "modernist" Buddhists real Buddhists, for the simple reason that they deny that Buddhism does not offer connection to the sacred Transcendent, and worse, because they deny that such a Transcendent exists in the first place. Their "Buddhism" is really only a grab bag of materialist-reductionist redaction of Buddhistic teaching.

    The Buddha himself was not an atheist - on the contrary, he believed in Gods, high and low, as well as an abundance of paraphysical heavenly and earthly entities.

    Buddha only denied the existence of one single high Creator God. As to the others, he taught that Buddhahood, not Godhood, is the highest state that sentient beings can attain. Thus Buddha did not deny gods and superhuman entities. Rather, he simply depotentiated them and encouraged their worshipers to seek their own Enlightenment instead of pursuing an impossible salvation mediated by deities.

    Finally, the Buddha did teach connection to a sacred Transcendent when he expanded his teaching that all things are impermanent into a teaching that all "earthly" or "Samsaric" things are impermanent, whereas Bodhi and the Dharma are the "Unborn", the "Uncreated", the "Unconditioned", and the "Lasting". Those who deny Buddha's central transcendental teaching cannot objectively call themselves Buddhists.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  19. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2019
    Messages:
    1,006
    Ratings:
    +689
    Religion:
    Creedalist Christian
    Yep, looks like a philosophy to me.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  20. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3,843
    Ratings:
    +2,875
    Hmmm! Well I did ask for more data didn't I! And of course you are right that there are Buddhist religions...I have little knowledge of Japanese Buddhism - despite having had a Japanese Buddhist as a house guest for over a year and a half. My suspicion is (doing a bit of word association based on @MikeDwight 's post) that there's a bit of syncretism going on there...I'm pretty sure that as far as can be discerned (which is admittedly not terribly far) you couldn't have got to "Pure Land" Buddhism off the teachings of Gautama Buddha - which seem - for the most part (and as far as can be discerned...) not to be theistic at all and to a fair extent to be generally against religion - or at least against religious devotion to deities. Wouldn't you say?
     
Loading...