Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Do you have a brain to think?

Question: (Unedited)
I have a few questions about Buddhism and its place in modern society. Does Buddhism seem to have more or less appeal to people now as opposed to previous decades? What factors about Buddhism seem to be most appealing to people? How does Buddhism fit in with other major religious and philosophical beliefs? Thank you for any help you can give me.

My comment:
Hi S,

Thank you for asking me.

As people become more educated and more informed, and as the world becomes more accessible, they have the opportunities to gather new information. As educated people, they are now able to think rationally and make logical decisions. Societies are also becoming more tolerant and more opened to new ideas. Social values change. The so-called "powerful" religions have lost ground in their control over peoples thoughts and lives, especially in the west.

The most appealing aspect of Buddhism is the freedom it gives to its followers to lead their lives with dignity. The Buddha advised his followers to use their common sense and human intelligence to analyze his teachings before accepting them. All his teachings are based on universal truths which transcend race, culture, nationality, belief, tradition, and even time and space. The Buddha did not impose dogmas and commandments forcing people to accept without questioning. He merely advised people to consider his teachings and only to accept and to follow them if the teachings are beneficial to them and society.

Buddhism stands aloft amongst other religions. The reason is that the Buddha's teachings are very different from theirs. The main emphasis is on compassion and non-violence. Buddhism does not condemn other's beliefs. There is no bloodshed in the name of the Buddha. When the Talibans in Afghanistan blew up the 2 huge Buddha statues, Buddhists did not declare war. Buddhists have the wisdom to follow the advice of the Buddha never to succumb to the twin evils of hatred and revenge which never resolve conflict, but create more problems. Although Buddhists had been rudely insulted, they did not resort to violence. Buddhism can fit in any society, because it does not demand anything from anyone.


Anonymous said...

Very brainy thinky said.
saddhu! saddhu! saddhu!

PM said...

Well said Justin.

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