Contrasting Buddhism to Christianity

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By berenice15
Words 720
Pages 3
CRITICAL THINKING ASSIGNMENT

I. Part One: Buddhism

i. The Question of Origin – Buddhists believe that the world has no beginning, and not everything that exists has to have one. As the famous quote by Bertrand Russell says: “There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our thoughts.” (Thera, 2002)

ii. The Question of Identity – Buddhism teaches that there is no self, but instead there are separate, ever-changing components that make up who we are. Defining one’s “self” would mean adhering to whatever our role or composition is today, which will certainly change in due time. This dependency followed by change would inflict suffering - what Buddhists live to avoid. (Silver, 2012)

iii. The Question of Meaning/Purpose – Buddhists believe that their main goal is life is to end suffering by ending desire. According to this religion, humans suffer because they desire and hold on to things that are temporary and will eventually vanish. The purpose in life of the Buddhist is to follow the Eightfold Path – as directed by the fourth of the Four Noble Truths – to end suffering and attain enlightment. (Religion Facts, 2005)

iv. The Question of Morality – Buddhism answers the question of morality with the term sila, which is the natural condition of goodness that we were born with. They attempt to preserve their sila and avoid being altered by worldly influences. Buddhists follow the five precepts as a moral guide: abstaining from the destruction of life, from taking that which is not given, from sexual misconduct, from falsehood, and from intoxicants that cloud the mind and cause carelessness. (Plamintr)

v. The Question of Destiny – Buddhists work towards reaching the state of Nirvana as their ultimate destiny. They believe in practicing good deeds to attain…...

Similar Documents

Difference and Similarities Between Christianity and Four (4) World Religion, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Muslims and Hinduism.

... Title: Difference and Similarities between Christianity and Four (4) World Religion, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Muslims and Hinduism. Introduction: In the world today there are many religions of different beliefs with vast numbers of followers. However, some of these religions turn to have similarities and differences which defer them from each another. The following report briefly talks about the differences and similarities between Christianity and other four (4) major world religions and they are Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Muslims. Zoroastrianism and Christianity Zoroastrianism was founded by a man named Zoroaster who was born around 1200 BC (www.Answers.com). During that time the Jewish people were held captive by Babylonians and most of their beliefs .i.e. Christianity and Judaism have Zoroastrian influence in them because they (Jewish) were exposed to that (Zoroastrian). But we will discuss about the similarities and the differences between Christianity and Zoroastrian. Similarities Zoroastrian worship one God to whom they believe the world was made and also the Christians too believe in one God, they (Zoroastrians) also believe that a Saviour will be born of a virgin who will defeat the devil and establish his kingdom when he returns just like Christians believe in Jesus Christ (www.metareligion.com) . Furthermore, both religions preaches about the existence of hell and heaven, both believed that hell is a place rewarded for righteous doing and hell......

Words: 2305 - Pages: 10

Buddhism

...Buddhism William Brittelli University of Phoenix Buddhism “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things, which renew humanity.” Buddhism is considered the fourth largest religion in the world and was founded by Prince Siddhartha during the sixth century BC. Buddhism does not have a central belief of worshiping a universal creator or God; but rather focuses on growth of the individual. Buddhism philosophy teaches individuals to attain personal enlightenment, the persona of non-violence, and the ability to tolerance differences among people. Buddhism is less often referred to as organized religion and more often as a culture or way of life (Boeree, n.d.). “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Prince Hiddhartha Gautama or the Buddha is the founder of Buddhism. His name means, “One who has achieved his aim.” When resting under a Bodhi Tree in Gaya, the prince gained his goal of enlightenment and experienced three spiritual breakthroughs; 1. He developed the ability to recall his past lives and life events resulting from death and reincarnation. 2. He learned that deeds, whether good or bad that occurred during past lives, directly relate to subsequent reincarnations. 3. He learned to attain nirvana. The Buddha......

Words: 3230 - Pages: 13

Buddhism vs Christianity

...1/28/13 Buddhism vs Christianity Buddhism and Christianity are complex religions. They are quite different from eachother. They have different places of worship, prophets, practices, and much more. They're virtually the most different religions in history. Where you worship your choice of almighty power is important. Buddhists worship in temples. The most common are the Pagoda and Stupa.The main characteristics you will notice about these places are their unique shapes. Pagodas range from four to seven stories. They have kind of a rectangular shape and the tips wing out at the ends almost like an umbrella. A Stupa is a stone structure built on top of presumed artifacts of Buddha. Inside these temples there may be a worship hall, mediation hall, and gold warrior-type figures, which are said to be the gaurdians of heaven. A statue of Buddha will usually be the main subject of interest. Highlighting the characteristics of the lotus sitting Buddha is psychedelic lighting. Some statues of Buddha were carved with solid pieces of white or emerald jade. The walls are usually green, orange, or yellow. Christians worship in Churches, Cathedrals, and Chapels. The look of every church is different depending on what denomination you are. Usually they all have steeples going around the sides. The insides are filled with detailed stain glass windows. On them are pictures of Jesus or his mother Mary. People sit on pues to listen to the sermon of the preacher before......

Words: 1334 - Pages: 6

Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity

...Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity Many countries form ideas and rules based on religion that is practiced as a whole by the society of that country. In addition religion continues to affect rules and ideas that is promoted by various cultures. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity are some of the most popular religions that are used throughout the world. Arabs has made Islamists powerful in Countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. Religious institutions are a public significance more so now than before. “In the Muslim political imaginary, the khulafa’ al-rashidun represent an idealized moment in history, that of the first four caliphs, the rightly-guided, who came after the prophet Muhammad: Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, Umar Ibn al-Khattab, Uthman Ibn Affan, and Ali Ibn Abi Talib. The period from the death of the prophet in 632 to that of Ali in 661 marks a golden era after which political history is conceived as having degenerated. However, Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz (717-720) from the Umayyad dynasty is often seen as part of the rightly-guided Caliphs and defines what is often dubbed the “5th caliphate”. He exemplifies the possibility of being a pious and just ruler in times of corruption.” (Zeghal, 2012) The above reference was used by Jebali and was taken out of Islamic past to state about political renewal within an Islamic saying. Representatives of al-Nahda insisted that the reference was symbolic, and did not question al-Nahdha’s commitment......

Words: 1058 - Pages: 5

The Comparison of Buddhism and Christianity

...Running head: The Comparison of Buddhism and Christianity 1 The Comparison of Buddhism and Christianity World Religion 212 November 3, 2013 Running head: The Comparison of Buddhism and Christianity 2 Buddhism is a polytheistic religion, however, it does not believe in Supreme Creator Being. Christianity is a monotheistic and believes that Christ is the son of God. Christianity is an offshoot Judaism whereas Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism. Christianity is a Abrahamic religion and Buddhism is a Dharmic religion. There is no god in Buddhism anything like Jesus Christ. Buddha is seen more as a really great person that once lived that reached a higher level of consciousness. Buddha wanted to teach how people goo free themselves and reach Nirvana. Jesus had a set of rules to live in order to get to Heaven. If is really not known or expelled were what Nirvana is, besides a freedom from the pain and suffering from life and the recantation we all must go through. Heaven on the hand is supposed to be a paradise where you in the after life you meet all your loved ones in a paradise, made by god himself. Buddhism was started about 5 B.C.E in India , Christianity started around 33 C.E. in Palestine. Granted they started many years apart but they do have the same basic ethics and commitment to community and family . They have the same basic concept of......

Words: 594 - Pages: 3

Death and Afterlife : Christianity, Buddhism and Atheism

...either of these places relies on the deed or sins that have been committed in one’s life. Christianity is one of the many religions that view death in this concept. The Eastern society, as an example Buddhism, adopts the concept of eternal death and rebirth cycle or reincarnation where a soul shifts from one body to another body. The status of life that one will attain in the next life depends on their action in the previous body. “Good” actions lead to a higher status in the hierarchy, and “bad” actions lead to a lower status in the hierarchy (Reincarnation – the truth n.d.). However, over the centuries, there have been numerous ideas by some individuals particularly Atheism, that life after death is simply a natural reincarnation where all living beings die and all the components of which they are made up of will unite with the air and the earth and recycled in a new living organism (Cornish n.d.). 2.0 Christianity Christians’ teachings conform to the Holy Bible and their view on death relates to a place called Heaven and Hell. Death is accepted as something that is permanent and they strongly believe that individuals who have showed repentance over their sins and lived according to the laws of God will gain entrance to Heaven. Those who have sinned and have not asked for forgiveness from the Lord will suffer in Hell forever (Arguilevich 2003, 33). Throughout the centuries, Christianity has gone through multiple changes as different individuals have different......

Words: 3053 - Pages: 13

Buddhism

...Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of a man called Siddhartha Gauthama. He lived for about 25 centuries. Siddhartha Gauthama came to be called Buddha. In his life Buddha traveled and taught, he did not teach people what he had realized when he became enlightened. He taught people how to be come enlightened themselves. He taught them that awakening comes through your own direct experience, not through their beliefs. Buddhism spread throughout Asia to become one of the dominant religions in the continent. It is over 350 million people who practice Buddhism, which would make Buddhism the fourth largest of the world’s religions. Buddhism is different from other religions and some people question if it is really a religion. For most religions the focus is on God. For Buddhism, they are taught that believing in gods was not useful for people who were seeking enlightenment. In most religions, they are defined by their beliefs. Buddha said that we should not accept doctrines just because we read them in scripture or are taught them by priests. Buddha taught people how to realize truth for ourselves. The focus is on practice rather than belief. The foundation of Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths, which are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, the truth of the path that frees us from suffering. The fourth of Buddha’s Noble Truths is The Noble Eightfold Path, it consists of eight factors, which are right view,......

Words: 655 - Pages: 3

Comparing Christianity and Buddhism Beliefs on Death and Afterlife

...oneself from desire. Nirvana is the Buddhist term for liberation. Nirvana literally means extinction, and it refers to the extinction of all craving, an extinction that allows one to become liberated. Where Buddha departed most radically from Hinduism was in his doctrine of "anatta", the notion that individuals do not possess eternal souls. Instead of eternal souls, individuals consist of a "bundle" of habits, memories, sensations, desires, and so forth, which together delude one into thinking that he or she consists of a stable, lasting self. Despite its transitory nature, this false self hangs together as a unit, and even reincarnates in body after body. In Buddhism, as well as in Hinduism, life in a corporeal body is viewed negatively, as the source of all suffering. Hence, the goal is to obtain release. In Buddhism, this means abandoning the false sense of self so that the bundle of memories and impulses disintegrates, leaving nothing to reincarnate and hence nothing to experience pain....

Words: 404 - Pages: 2

Buddhism

...Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Thich Nhat Hanh: “Buddhism is already engaged. If it is not, it is not Buddhism.” Walpola Rahula: “Buddhism is based on service to others”…political and social engagement is the “heritage of the bhikkhu” and the essence of Buddhism. Robert Thurman: “The primary Buddhist position on social action is one of total activism, an unswerving commitment to complete self-transformation and complete world-transformation.” Stated in simplest terms, engaged Buddhism means the application of Buddhist teachings to contemporary social problems. Engaged Buddhism is a modern reformist movement. A practitioner is socially engaged “in a nonviolent way, motivated by concern for the welfare of others, and as an expression of one’s own practice of the Buddhist Way” (King Being 5). In this description Sallie B. King invokes the spirit of the Bodhisattva vow: May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. According to Ken Jones engaged Buddhism is “an explication of social, economic, and political processes and their ecological implications, derived from a Buddhist diagnosis of the existential human condition” (Kraft New). Jones emphasizes the social theory underlying engaged Buddhism. According to engaged Buddhists the “three poisons” of greed, anger and ignorance apply both to the individual and to “large-scale social and economic forces” (Kraft New); their remediation is therefore the collective concern of society. As the......

Words: 23858 - Pages: 96

Buddhism

...Buddhism Deriving from India as early as the 6th century BC Buddhism is one of the worlds oldest religions. Buddhism has been and still is one of the world’s most popular religions with about 350 million followers ranking just below Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. There is no surprise in the amount of followers that Buddhism has considering it has been around for so long and wouldn’t be able to stay a religion so long without loyal adherents. Buddhism is based off of the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, a royal prince born in Nepal. Siddhartha Gautama is also known as the Buddha or in other words “the awakened one”. The Buddha was believed to be enlightened teacher who believed it was best to live in the moment. As said by the Buddha “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddhists who would follow his teachings did so to escape their suffering. To escape their suffering they would have to achieve the state of nirvana. To achieve nirvana the Buddhists must first understand The Four Noble Truths and then practice the Eightfold Path. Buddhism believes in three main ideas when it comes to life and the rest of the world: Samsara, Karma, and Rebirth. Samsara is when a person continually goes through birth, life and death while cycling through the six realms of existence while doing so. Samsara causes suffering and unhappiness, which is the purpose of it......

Words: 1513 - Pages: 7

Christianity vs Buddhism

...This paper is a comparison between two very different religions. Specifically Christianity and Buddhism. Coming from opposite sides of the globe these two religions could not be any farther apart in any aspect. I will discuss who Christ is for Christians and who Buddha is for Buddhists. I will also get into the aspects of charity, love, and compassion in both religions and I will be looking at the individual self and how christians see resurrection where the buddhists feel about the afterlife. One thing to keep in mind is that the two religions are very different but they seem to have a very similar underlying pattern. Both believe that there was a savior of their people, Buddha and Christ, and both believe that there is something good that happens to us when our time is done here on earth. This is a very generalized summarization but in order to go in to depth I need to explain the two religions more to fully convey this theory.  The Christian religion, like all other religions has its strengths and weaknesses in our modern society. Perhaps the strengths out weight the weaknesses as this is one of the largest religions in the world. Hundreds of people follow the Catholic/Christian religion yet still a greater number follow yet other religions. Perhaps this is because they see the weaknesses or perhaps it is simply because their parents have taught them that it is a sin to follow this religion. The Christian religions do however present much more of an appealing......

Words: 2080 - Pages: 9

Buddhism vs Christianity

...of the different types of religion, whether that be Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism or any of the other ones, all share many similarities as well as many differences. However, it is these differences that set each of them apart from one another. Two of the most prominent religions in the world today, Christianity and Buddhism, couldn’t be more different, but yet share many similarities. Both Christian and Buddhists ideas and teachings have served to guide and influence the lives and decisions of each of their respected followers for many centuries and both continue to be a dominating force in the world today Christianity offers a distinct and comforting sense of purpose for those who believe. As a human, we are destined to make mistakes. Christianity offers us a way of knowing that we are forgiven of our sins. It shows us that we are loved no matter what, and it gives us a sense of how we should live our lives in order to be who God wants us to be. Christianity provides us with an ideal father figure to look up to and pushes us to live up to his ideals. We believe that our purpose is to work to be the best possible person we could be and to treat everyone with love and kindness. We believe that God made us just the way he wanted us to be and that God has a path already laid out for us. Many of us will essentially give up our lives to the Lord with hopes that he will guide us down the right path. Christianity offers us a sense of understanding and a way to......

Words: 1709 - Pages: 7

Buddhism and Christianity

...Buddhism and Christian Faith Jennifer Herron HUM/130: Religions of the World Week 9: Final World Religion Report February 19th, 2012 Glenda Mitchell Since the beginning of time, religion was a part of society, much like it is today in a more modern era. There are so many different religions and sects of religions which brings about different interpretations and meanings understood by the people who practice a certain religion. Each religion has its own individual story and theory on how this world came to be and what happened in order for it to be created. With so many different religions and people practicing each one it is easy to be disrespectful when it comes to others’ beliefs and sometimes all it takes is an open mind and the will to just learn about another faith and really get down to the bottom of understanding where it came from and how it all started. At the end of our lives we all wonder about the place beyond this world and many live by the thought that they will make it to this place whether it be called Heaven or something else. For this paper I chose Buddhism and Christianity to discuss and I will be able to explain the differences as well as any common beliefs these religions hold. To start off with I did not know much about Buddhism or what it was all about. My mother’s biological father was from Japan and so this is what really sparked my interest about this religion, other than the fact that I just think it is completely interesting. I spent a......

Words: 2081 - Pages: 9

Christianity and Buddhism

...between Christianity and Buddhism. Understanding why Buddhists believe in no soul, no life after death, and why there are no moral absolutes, so as not to raise any future issues, would be the best way to start of a relationship with someone of this religion. As to not offend their beliefs it would be best to probably avoid any activities that may have them question their beliefs because they believe that every decision determines your next place in life. Offering to teach them about your beliefs while learning from them about theirs is a good way to avoid offending either party It would be difficult to present any aspect of Christianity to a Buddhists because of the gap that is offered by the differences in our religions. Reincarnation is a touchy subject because it causes questions that many would not be willing to answer. Buddhists do not believe that there is the existence of a thing called soul but believe that everyone has lived more than one life. This borders on saying that as a human being we are not individual because we have lived many times. In Christianity the idea of this is preposterous because we believe that once our soul leaves our bodies it goes to Heaven or Hell not into the body of another being. Christianity teaches that we are giving this one life and to live it according to the word of God. This is the greatest barrier between our religions because of the many questions it raises. I would be nervous about presenting the Gospel to a believer of......

Words: 405 - Pages: 2

Buddhism and Christianity

...Buddhism Buddhism and Christianity have some slight similarities, but are vastly different in respect to the spiritual perspective and approach to healing. Buddhism does not necessarily encompass a spiritual perspective and is based on The Four Noble Truths set forth by founder, Siddhartha Gautama. Gautama achieved self-salvation through meditation and had an epiphany about how to be free of suffering. In doing so, he became the “Enlightened One” and was hence known as the Buddha. The truths revolve around suffering and are: the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. The Buddha's Four Noble Truths can be said to be a type of formula for healing. In these truths is the recognition of the cause of suffering, and the path that treats the cause of the suffering. Suffering, physically or spiritually, can then be healed through prayer and meditation and achieving mental clarity on their way to Nirvana. Although prayer is also common in the Christian religion, achieving Nirvana is not. Buddhism’s spiritual perspective is only similar to Christian perspective because they use prayer as an approach to healing. However, a Buddhists prayer is more an inner prayer to achieve mental clarity for healing, and Christian’s prayer is to God. In both religions, the healing of the body is not just physical, but also spiritual. Both religions believe in physical healing......

Words: 557 - Pages: 3