Other Religions

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
sshai45
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Other Religions

Postby sshai45 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:28 am

Hi.

Does Buddhism consider itself to be the one right religion, and all the others wrong, like how most religions approach other religions? I remembered asking a member here a similar question once in a private mail, but I figured it'd be best perhaps to ask it again on the public forum, where everyone can discuss.

To me, it seems there is room in Buddhism for the "I'm right and all you are wrong" idea. Namely, note that there are things called "wrong view" in Buddhism, and many of these may overlap with the doctrines of other religions, i.e. things accepted as doctrinal in other religions are considered as "wrong view" in Buddhism. For example, the view that there exists a soul. It is the norm in the Abrahamic religions, in Hinduism, and many, many other religions. Yet according to Buddhism this is wrong view, self view, "eternalism". If only Buddhism has all the "right views", then doesn't it make sense to say "Buddhism is the one true religion, and all the rest are invalid"? If not, then what would Buddhism believe the result to be of believing in, deliberately and firmly, non-Buddhist religions, including all wrong views therein, and also expounding those views?

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Kim OHara
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Re: Other Religions

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:02 am

Hi, sshai,
There are a lot of questions in your post but most of them are extensions of the first and so don't really need a separate answer.
Q: Does Buddhism consider itself to be the one right religion, and all the others wrong, like how most religions approach other religions?
A (mine, anyway :tongue: ): Not to anywhere near the same extent. Buddhism is internally more pluralistic than most religions and (partly for that reason, I think) externally more tolerant. Buddhists tend to think that good ideas are good ideas regardless of their source, and that most religions have good ideas in them. Consequently ...
Q2: If only Buddhism has all the "right views", then doesn't it make sense to say "Buddhism is the one true religion, and all the rest are invalid"?
A2: No. It makes much more sense to say all the rest are somewhat valid.

As for your last question, this particular Buddhist can't begin to imagine anyone capable of "believing in, deliberately and firmly, non-Buddhist religions, including all wrong views therein, and also expounding those views" because that would involve believing in a hundred conflicting religions at once. :tongue: But if you mean someone simply believing and expounding any one religion, I would probably accept that they are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have been given, but gently discourage them from thinking they had the only right answers and an obligation to convert the rest of us.

:namaste:
Kim

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fig tree
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Re: Other Religions

Postby fig tree » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:34 am


befriend
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Re: Other Religions

Postby befriend » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:46 pm

look for the shorter and longer discourse on the lions roar, it is about why buddhism is the only religion that produces the four kinds of saints.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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daverupa
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Re: Other Religions

Postby daverupa » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:00 pm


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cooran
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Re: Other Religions

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:35 pm

Hello sshai45, all,

These articles may be of interest:

BUDDHIST PERSPECTIVES ON TRUTH IN OTHER RELIGIONS: PAST AND PRESENT by JOHN MAKRANSKY
http://www.ts.mu.edu/content/64/64.2/64.2.5.pdf

A Buddhist perspective Do all religions say the same thing? from Bhikkhu Blog
http://bhikkhu.wordpress.com/2006/08/27 ... ame-thing/

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

JBG
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Re: Other Religions

Postby JBG » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:49 pm


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Other Religions

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:21 pm

Take a look at the
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Kim OHara
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Re: Other Religions

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:10 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Other Religions

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:20 pm


sshai45
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Re: Other Religions

Postby sshai45 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:27 pm


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Kim OHara
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Re: Other Religions

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:02 am


sshai45
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Re: Other Religions

Postby sshai45 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:09 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: Other Religions

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sshai45
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Re: Other Religions

Postby sshai45 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:03 am


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Kim OHara
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Re: Other Religions

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Doshin
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Re: Other Religions

Postby Doshin » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:26 am

Knowing about dhamma, does not imply knowing dhamma

sshai45
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Re: Other Religions

Postby sshai45 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:19 am

So if I get this right, it seems that Buddhism may not believe in "I'm right and all the rest are wrong" in its strict, literal sense -- meaning "Buddhism is TOTAL truth" and "all other religions are TOTAL falsehood", or in the sense that, say, fundie Christianity likes to use ("if you don't follow me, you're wicked/a child of Satan/whatever!"). But, on the other hand, it does appear to believe that it's "right" and the others are "wrong" in the sense that "right" means "this will lead to the final end of suffering (Nibbana)" and "wrong" meaning "this will not lead to that". Or "right" means "contains the WHOLE path to the end of suffering", "wrong" means "contains only part of it, mixed with things that actually hinder instead of helping". I.e. only through Buddhism (or something resembling it very greatly, at least, e.g. Noble Truths, Anatta, etc.) will you gain Nibbana. You may get reborn into the heaven realms if you live a saintly life true to the teachings of one of the other religions, but you're not going to get Nibbana, the final release, since the other religions promote views and things that are not conducive to Nibbana but hindrances to it (like the belief in soul, etc. -- a form of "eternalism").

And so perhaps maybe instead of saying "Buddhism is the one true religion and all others are wrong", as that carries the implication of "totally false", one should instead say "Buddhism believes it is the truest religion, the only one capable of achieving permanent freedom from death and suffering, and all the others are not equipped to do that, and are at least in part wrong".
Last edited by sshai45 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Other Religions

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:30 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: Other Religions

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