Buddhism - a philosophy or religion?

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. Some would say that Buddhism is a religion because that's how everyone recognises it and it has many features of a religion, such as the guidelines the Buddha set out, and the rites of passage that monks undergo, such as their ordainment, however not every Buddhist has to become an ordained monk so it is not exactly a rite of passage. However some say that the Buddha is a sort of leader to Buddhists as they follow the guidelines he set out and they have shrines to him and stupa's over his relics, to some people this is considered to be worship, a shrine is there to worship the person, in this case the Buddha. People

  • Word count: 674
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

"If we need to kill animals for research we should".

R.E Buddhism Coursework - Part C "If we need to kill animals for research we should". Some people would disagree with this statement, especially Buddhists as every year; thousands of animals experience great suffering in the name of research. It could be argued that a tiny handful of these experiments have indeed benefited mankind. But there are countless thousands of instances of humans bringing needless suffering to innocent animals. For example, many cosmetic products and household chemicals are tested for safety for humans using procedures such as the infamous Draize test. In this test, the substance under investigation is put into the eye of a live, healthy rabbit, and left there. The degree to which the eye deteriorates is noted by the researcher, and this data is used to determine how safe the product is for humans to use. Some people do not understand that animals, like humans, are sentient beings. Animals do feel pain. There are many reasons why research on animals should not be carried out, for example an animal's response to a drug may be misleading as animals react differently to some drugs than humans do. Also the stress that an animal can endure whilst in a laboratory can affect the experiment and make the results meaningless. If Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is true then it means that animals are our ancestors and we have no right to kill them. We

  • Word count: 654
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

"If we need to kill animals for research, we should Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show you have thought about different types of view. You must refer to Buddhism to your answer

C. "If we need to kill animals for research, we should" Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show you have thought about different types of view. You must refer to Buddhism to your answer Before researchers test drugs in human clinics the drugs are tested on animals. This is to determine the toxicity, dosing and the efficiency of the drug, hence seeing if it is safe for human use. Cosmetics are also tested this way. This process is called Animal Testing or Animal Research. Animal Testing has created a major backlash. Some perceive it as cruel, as it is technically using animals for human gain. An alternative view is that it is simply necessary for medical process. There are many arguments for animal testing. The principal one is that it clears any doubt about the safety of the drug and can help save peoples lives. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution can be incorporated into Buddhism. As a Buddhist would realise everything changes and nothing stays the same. With animal testing, the testing actually can benefit the animals since it helps them become stronger by furthering their DNA. However, a Buddhists view on animal testing is unclear. For example, within Buddhism, Karma and Suffering (Dukka) are two main aspects. Karma is another way of saying "what goes around comes around". This means, someone who gained bad Karma in their past life

  • Word count: 652
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

In this essay I will try to guide the reader trough the various stages to meditation.

Stratford campus MEDITATION By: Leo Gaviria 21039767-50 Tutor: Angelica de Paiva Course: 1W-NC-EAL-1-1E-SC English 04 April 2003 In this essay I will try to guide the reader trough the various stages to meditation. To reach meditation, you require the three big steps: Relaxation: Control of yourself can mean relaxing your mind and your body You must, control your emotions, your passions, your nerves, your thoughts, your imagination, your desires, your bad habits, your impulses, your aspirations. Control yourself internally. Everything in you should be controlled, so that you can know your forces better, and how to use them It is convenient to control yourself in all circumstances, and mainly, to control your heart, if it is capable of hating or has unhealthy feelings, control your mind, putting a stop to your thoughts and aspirations, the same for your desires and passions, and mainly do not allow it to hurt, even with the intention. Control your soul, feeding it with good intentions and pure and noble thoughts. To control your body, you need to learn how to breathe properly This consists at four steps: . To inhale deep 2. To hold the air (store) 3. To exhale deeply 4. To hold your organism empty. And repeat this for about 4 or more times, every time you have to count at least until 7 for every step. This is a good practice for purifying your blood and

  • Word count: 652
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

Differences between Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism.

Buddhism is divided into two main religious groups Mahayana Buddhism and Hinayana Buddhism (also known as Theravada). These two religious groups both share a lot of similarities. But have a few differences. One of the differences is that Mahayana Buddhists believe that The Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) is a God but Hinayana Buddhists believe that The Buddha was an ordinary Human. Mahayana Buddhism followers think that The Buddha is a God because they think that the Buddha came down to earth to help people cross the sea of life. So the Buddha can be worshipped as a God because he is eternal and comes down to earth. On the other hand Hinayana Buddhists think that The Buddha was a Human instead of a God because they think The Buddha was simply a man who found a way to Nirvana. I think that The Buddha is an ordinary person because he has many human-like characteristics such as looking like a person, being born like a person, living like a person besides if he was a God he would have already known about old-aged people, diseased people and dead people. So Siddhartha Gautama is an ordinary person who devoted most of his life to finding the truth of life, to reach enlightenment. Also the fact that Siddhartha Gautama didn't know how to meditate before reaching the Meditation Masters suggests that Siddhartha Gautama didn't know how to meditate and so couldn't have been a God.

  • Word count: 638
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

There are many cases for the fact that the Buddha was a Shramana because he had agreements with most of them, but he also had his disagreements. Perhaps he wasn't a Shramana or in fact a member of any religious group except for his own.

Robert Hicks 13.10.2005 Homework 4 (A02) Was Guatama a Shramana? At the time of the Buddha there was great upheaval within society, with regards to peoples differing religious beliefs. The Aryan invaders had brought with them Hinduism and this in turn brought about the caste system in which the people were generally unsatisfied and wanted to find out the truth for themselves. The Buddha also believed this; that you have to find and experience life for yourself in order to reach enlightenment. Hedonism and extreme asceticism were at the opposite ends of the spectrum, this is where the Buddha found the middle way, but only after experiencing these differing lifestyles for himself. The Shramana movement (A Shramana was a type of wandering freelance mendicant philosopher who taught alternative beliefs to those taught by Brahmin priests) culminated out of this unrest and is probably the group that the Buddha has most in common with. Different groups of Shramanism taught different beliefs and the Buddha was to have differing opinions with all of them; they were the Materialists, Sceptics, Jainists, Ajivikas, Hindus, Vedic Hindus and Classical Hindus. He shared some of their ideas of rebirth, the quest for peace, karma, meditation, detachment and self discipline but was critical of other beliefs that the various groups practiced. The movement also came from a

  • Word count: 633
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

Buddhists are interested in the truth about the way things are. The law of life is what the Buddha discovered at his enlightenment and what he then taught to others.

Reflection on Buddhism HRT3M1 Larissa Balicki Mr. Nadon Oct. 23'03 "See everything around you as nirvana. See all beings as the Buddha. Hear all sounds as mantras." Buddhists are interested in the truth about the way things are. The law of life is what the Buddha discovered at his enlightenment and what he then taught to others. The Buddha taught that suffering is overcome by following a path to 'Nirvana', the unchanging state that is reached by all enlightened beings. They believe that it represents the true nature of reality. Nirvana is the ultimate state of pure being, so for Buddhists there is no belief in or worship of a personal creator God. To reach Nirvana involves the development of morality, meditation and wisdom. If you see everything as Nirvana, you would have achieved the very essence of Buddhism, finding wisdom and joy in everything and dismissing negativity and suffering in your life. 'Buddha' means Enlightened One. To see all beings as Buddhas would mean that everyone would understand the truth about the way things are. Buddhists do not claim that one path is right or wrong, or use "I" or "person" to mean a permanent personality. They consider a person to be "a flow of being," subject to constant physical and psychological change, which continues through life beyond death. Buddhists believe that a person is in reality a chain of life, a

  • Word count: 580
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

Comparison of Buddhism and Taoism

Comparison of Buddhism and Taoism Taoism and Buddhism were born in the same century. Siddhartha reached enlightenment in approximately 535 B.C. and Lao Tzu's teachings were recorded around 500 B.C. There are many similarities in the basics of these two religions. Some of the similarities can be seen clearly when examining the three meaning of Tao. The first definition of Tao is "the way of ultimate reality." This means that Tao cannot be percieved, defined, talked about, or thought of. It is too big a concept for humans to comprehend. As in the first line of the Tao Te Ching (the Taoist text meaning The Way and Its Power): "The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao." This is very similar to the Buddhist idea of Nirvana or Enlightenment. Nirvana cannot be understood by one who has not attained it. Even when one has reached Nirvana, he cannot describe it to others, but only help others to reach it as well. In its second sense, Tao means "the way of the universe." Tao is something that goes through all beings, all of the earth. It is everywhere, all the time. It is something that flows through everything. This flowing idea links with the idea in Buddhism that Nirvana can be reached by anyone, as long as one is devoted enough and has lost all attachments. Thirdly, one life must be a certain way to work with the Tao: Tao also refers to "the way of human life" as it

  • Word count: 560
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

Buddhism revision

Religious education revision (Buddhist) Siddharta Gautama • He was a Prince born in Lumbini. • When he was 29, he saw an dead, a holy, and sick person and a old man. This is called the 'four sights'. • He reached enlightenment after sitting under a bo tree to meditate. Key words • 'Buddha'-one who is enlightened. • 'Dharma'-the Buddhist's teaching • 'The three poisons' are- Greed, hatred and ignorance. • 'Dukkha'-Suffering • Nirvana-point of peace which all cravings end The three marks of existence • Anicca-Everything in the world changes (Anicca... A knickers, picture the earth wearing pants). • Anatta-Everybody around us changes (Anatta... anatomy, people). • Dukkha-we change, we suffer (dukkha, ducks, they suffer. ). The four Noble truths • All life contains suffering- we are never content with what we have. • The cause of our suffering are cravings • The way to stop suffering is to stop craving, • The way that we should follow to stop craving is to go through the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold path (three of them). • Right livelihood- earn a living that doesn't cause suffering to others. • Right concentration- Meditate. Peace....... • Right action- Follow the Five precepts. Okay? The Five Precepts • I abstain from the taking of life - Veggies come from here. • I abstain from the misuse of the

  • Word count: 536
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay

Are the five precepts realistic principles for a Buddhist to live by today?

Are the five precepts realistic principles for a Buddhist to live by today? I personally think that the five precepts are realistic enough because they are quite similar to the things that a Muslim may or may not do. The reason I say this is because I am a Muslim and some of these precepts are the same for me to follow in everyday life. For example, precept 2: 'I undertake to abstain from taking what is not freely given' In other words, it means No stealing or any form of exploitation or taking advantage of someone. This should not be hard to follow because, first of all; this is against the law and I doubt it that any other religion would allow stealing. All of the precepts are really what I, as a Muslim is not allowed to do, except the first one ('to abstain from harming living beings'). The reason I have brought myself into this is because as I said before, I do most of these and I don't find any of them hard to follow so why should a Buddhist? The obvious answer to the title would definitely be yes, because they are the same as what people with other faiths must not do. Precept 1 is a very simple precept and must be easy to follow, since there are millions of other vegetarians from other faiths in our world and they find it easy and realistic enough. I think that it is easy to survive by being a vegetarian, because there are a lot of other foods to eat except meat

  • Word count: 523
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Religious Studies (Philosophy & Ethics)
Access this essay