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How Buddhism do not believe in Gods?

Any metaphysical speculation made so far in the history of the world religions proposes two theologies. First, it forbids to discuss things for which we remain unable to show some reasonable evidence, and secondly it do not allow to discuss things that are of no good use for us. Buddhism refutes the existence of an actual creator, for it is a religion based upon the philosophy encompassing internal wisdom and spirituality. While analyzing the doctrines of the earliest Buddhists, it is clear that during Buddha’s lifetime no methodical or written records were kept, due to which we find ourselves owing whatever knowledge of these early doctrines that we have to a rather murky tradition, fraught with all the pitfalls inherent in this spiritual philosophy. But any unconvincing situation does not lead to us to the conclusion that Buddhism is deprived of theism. However, on the basis of our present research, it is clear that Buddhism believes in the human body and soul, rather than on a universal creator. Our research focuses and defends the basic concept of how and in what manner Buddhists do not stick to the existence of the Omnipotent. We will examine the ways in which the doctrine of Buddhism denies the Omnipresent and examine the doctrine by investigating what we call the crux of the Buddhist belief. These include the Four Noble Truths, the Three Marks, the Five Aggregates, Dependent Origination, and the Stages of Sanctification.

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The Four Noble Truths

The four principles that form the major substance of Buddha’s instruction includes suffering, cause of suffering, cessation of suffering, and the eightfold path that escorts to the cessation of suffering. Buddhism suggests suffering as a disease that incurs in the form of birth, old age, miseries, and death. Every thing apart from being pleasant can be seen as suffering on which many scholars argue as being negative, by considering that Buddha dismisses all pleasure and happiness (Prebish, 1994, p. 29). But the truth is that Buddhism means to point out the impermanence of all mental and physical pleasures. As we know that nothing is reliable to be infinite in this world, so every substance confronts finiteness and ultimately decays. Therefore, Buddhism teaches not to rely solely on the principles set by the God, and an individual must see through his inner light what is ethical and dutiful. True Buddhists hold a deep insight into their nature of existence and do not consider any other being superior, other than their inner selves. The main characteristic of Buddhism is that it constantly shifts between metaphysical and psychological aspects of ego and egolessness (Gross, 1993, p. 159). Philosophically, the teachings about egolessness refers to the self-protection and self-preservation for which man has created supreme or super natural power like God to live and seek his true identity.

The Three Marks of Existence

Among Buddha preachings, the most popular ones are to be known as the ‘Discourse on the Marks of Not-Self for which the main doctrinal content includes not only statements about the self, but also about how it is impermanent. The first mark is not-self which refers to the notion that each living creature possesses a self which is pure, subtle, and eternal, and which carries some residues from reincarnation (Prebish, 1994, p. 31). It is the self that creates and inherent problems while indicating the existence in a self in two ways. First, the self is non-attached to any external quest for ‘nirvaṇa’, and secondly it questions of how something as pure and eternal as the soul associate itself with something as impure, gross, and temporary as the body? Therefore, this connection is made between body and soul through one unconditioned and permanent state, i.e., nirvaṇa, and not through the faith on an external object or creature like god. The second mark that proves the existence of self is impermanence, which suggests that every substance is subject and allowed to change during its existence, except nirvana. The third mark of existence is suffering which fulfils the restatement of the first noble truth. This indicates that Buddhism allows only the physical existence as long as being temporary and permanence is concerned.

The Aggregates, Dependent Origination, and stages of Sanctification

Buddha’s doctrine that all things lack self and that each individual represents a mass of physical and mental energies allow us to visualize that human through his inner wisdom is himself godly. Since Buddhism is based upon meditation, it is the spiritual dimension of the human being that connects himself to the rest of the world. This indicates there is no particular need for developing or creating a godly existence. Buddha’s theory of causation further proves the notion by providing an illustration of the dynamic, relational aspect of all existent things. Meditation provokes enlightenment which is achieved when all the negative qualities of an individual are eradicated while a true saint in Buddhism. Thus, no room is left for any external creation or God. It is human who due to old age and death ignores the circle of existence which has no beginning or end or, it does not make any reference to spatial matters. In striving to attain nirvaṇa, the theory of dependent origination in Buddhism rejects the notion that the conception of the universe is through a God or gods or predetermination (Prebish, 1994, p. 34).

Bracken (2007) suggests that Buddhism perception of the world as an ongoing cosmic process is based on dependent co-origination processive reality that suggests distinct processes that make it up even as it necessarily depends upon those processes for its very existence. Little and Twiss in this manner perceive a religious statement and consider it as one that expresses acceptance of a set of beliefs, attitudes and practices based entirely on a notion of a divine source of values and guidance, that aims to resolve the metaphysical problems of interpretability (Harvey, 2000, p. 2). That is, religion is not to be based upon the superficial values granted by the forces of nature that focuses on how to make sense of a human being’s life, inclusive of death, suffering, and superstition evil. This notion is supported by the actual facts, signs and symbols of nature to help people understand, and resolve, the human quandary of searching the truth, which is other than the presence of God.. Although morality and ethics in many sects stay out of the religious circle or exist apart from religion, but such a concern demonstrates the lack of pure religious thought. This is so because such religions depriving ethics and being theistic, are deprived of the basic humanism or utilitarianism, and in such case theism is not alone to prove the humanistic approach of staying in the boundaries of religion. Forbidden by God is one thing and acquiring a sophisticated insight on how and why a thing is forbidden, is another. The prescription ‘do not kill’ can be justified in terms of acquiring an ethical reason, for which we can say that this has a negative effect on the welfare of others. But when the notion ‘do not kill’ comes to implement to theistic or monotheist religions, it snatches human wisdom to contemplate upon the rights and wrongs. This occurs on a purely coincidental basis that whatever God likes for man and condemns from committing, it is forbidden by God because it harms others. Other than this, there is no other reason for proving why ethics do not allow immoral or condemned behavior.

Harvey (2002, p. 2) suggests that no doubt it is true that moral action are the basis to acquire and demand attention, but it is also true that such actions sometimes conflict with each other. Such example can be seen in the story of Abraham and the burning bush, where in order to meet God’s will, he is prepared to kill his son through faith in God. Many critical analysts have interpreted that super-naturalistic philosophical world-views when applied to diversified theist religious, confirm that man can look before and after, and dream of what is not. Therefore, Buddhism provides the opportunity to the human being to realize his own limits and finiteness in the universe. Man can disengage himself from the causal forces in history sufficiently to achieve freedom and possess a unique sense of failure to fulfil the absolute demands of God, which weakens his will to survive from the image of God that is in him (Puligandla & Miller, 1996, p. 16).

Science and faith are two different epistemologies that offer different ways of justifying believes escorting to naturalism and supernaturalism (Clark, 2006). Whatever remain the considered convictions or those that can consistently be held together, it is only through an assessment that there are a host of accounts which are in accordance with those considered judgements. This way they are appealing to those considered judgements that cannot help us to decide between these accounts or even incline us in one way rather than another. But, Nielsen (1996, p. 160) suggests that “if the theories do conflict with such firm considered judgements, or more accurately massively so conflict, then the plain person can rightly conclude that, whatever else the theory in question has going for it, it is to that very considerable extent mistaken”. If we believe that it is a consequence of the theory that do not permit people to be restricted, the theory is of no good use to us. Such an attitude of dealing with metaphysical problems that lead us to contradiction is meaningless, because attempts to solve these problems are not only useless but impossible.

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Works Cited

Bracken, A. Joseph. 2007. Dependent Co-origination and Universal Intersubjectivity. Buddhist-Christian Studies. Volume: 27. p. 3.

Clark, W. Thomas. 2006. Naturalism vs. Supernaturalism: How to Survive the Culture Wars. The Humanist. Volume: 66. Issue: 3.

Gross, M. Rita. 1993. Buddhism after Patriarchy: A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism: State University of New York Press: Albany, NY.

Harvey Peter. 2000. An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values, and Issues: Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, England.

Nielsen Kai. 1996. Naturalism without Foundations: Prometheus Books: Amherst, NY.

Prebish, S. Charles. Buddhism: A Modern Perspective: Pennsylvania State University Press: University Park, 1994.

Puligandla Ramakrishna & Miller David Lee. 1996. Buddhism and the Emerging World Civilization: Essays in Honor of Nolan Pliny Jacobson: Southern Illinois University Press: Carbondale, IL.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 8). How Buddhism do not believe in Gods? Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/how-buddhism-do-not-believe-in-gods/

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