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Buddhism - a philosophy or religion?

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Introduction

Buddhism - a philosophy or religion? Buddhism is one of the major world religions, it is recognized in most countries as a religion, no-one has yet considered that maybe it is a philosophy. We define a religion as having six things, these are: belief in a God, a place of worship, Holy Scriptures or books, rules or guidelines, rites of passage and festivals or special days. So in order to determine Buddhism as a religion we must identify that it has all of these characteristics. However when I do this I find that in theory Buddhism doesn't qualify as a religion as they do not believe in any God and they do not have a place of worship, they do have a monastery but not all Buddhists will visit or live in one and it is a place of study as they do not worship anybody. ...read more.

Middle

People would say that Buddhism is not a conventional religion with a clear God and rules but because people follow someone's teachings and live by their guidelines it is a religion. Although the point of view in the previous paragraph is completely understandable and valid I disagree and so would many other people. I understand that Buddhism is recognised as a religion all over the world but that doesn't make it so, Buddhists may have shrines in their homes and monasteries but these shrines are for what the Buddha said and believed in they are not for the Buddha as a person they are for what he stands for. This is why the shrines have several symbols on them not just a picture or sculpture of the Buddha; they have flowers for impermanence, pictures of the dead as a sign of reverence and incense to pass on good thoughts and good karma. ...read more.

Conclusion

I also think that some people genuinely feel that it is a religion and I can understand that too I am still unsure as to whether I have completely decided myself what I think. I totally understand the people who say it is a philosophy as I can see their point that it does not qualify as a religion if we do the 'check list' and after reading up on it I am swaying towards it not being a religion, mostly because it seems to have so many sides and conclusions that I feel it is just not clear cut enough to be a religion. ?? ?? ?? ?? SARAH RYCROFT 12LS - 2004-10-04 - MISS BRETT ...read more.

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