MSC Relevancy and Original Meaning of Budhusim Essay

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Although Buddhism is able to change, adapt, and be adopted by other cultures and lifestyles, with all these changes, do you think that the original meaning of Buddhism taught by the Buddha himself can be lost or even die? Does the original meaning even matter if it loses its relevancy?2
Why Buddhism is Both a Religion and a Philosophy
There has been an existing controversy for a long period on whether Buddhism should be
categorized as either a religion or philosophy. It is worth noting that Buddhism originally came
from India during the 6th century BC. Unlike other theistic religions, Buddhism is generally
different, considering how it does not believe in God as the sole creator. The teachings of
Buddhism are primarily based on the suffering that the world continues to experience. Buddhism
is mainly guided by a higher power and believes that there is life after death hence contributing
towards the moral code of ethics that guides Buddhists 1. Many Buddhists grow up believing that
Buddhism is a religion, contributing to how many of them do not associate it with the idea of
philosophy. That generally means that the issue of illustrating whether Buddhism is a religion or
philosophy is mainly based on an individual`s opinion on the same. However, it is important to
understand that the opinions provided by many readings clarify Buddhism as both philosophy
and religion. When it comes to the philosophical aspect of Buddhism, it means Buddhism
primarily focuses on providing people with the truth, while on the other hand, as a religion,
Buddhism focuses on providing people with information about the afterlife. Therefore, based on
the class readings and other readings, Buddhism can be categorized as a philosophy and a
religion.
Buddhism as a philosophy
Many philosophical aspects of Buddhism have emerged over the past years. One such
aspect is how Buddhism has continued telling the Buddhists the truth, which can also be
Lopez Jr, D. S., Miles, J., Doniger, W., Robson, J., Biale, D., & Cunningham, L. S. (2014). The
Norton Anthology of World Religions: Buddhism.
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associated with ensuring people use logical reasoning. However, it is important to understand
that the most critical aspect of Buddhism originates from the Buddha. That is primarily because
how Buddha does not only emphasize his followers having to adhere to the teachings but rather
do their due diligence also in investigating the teachings to understand why they should be
followed. Whenever debating on whether Buddhism should be categorized as a philosophy or
religion, one must recognize the various philosophical techniques while making their points.
Buddhism can also be categorized as part of philosophy, considering how it tries to
illustrate various aspects in the best ways. Buddhism even goes further in illustrating the aspects
by having a standard that plays a significant role in measuring different concepts. Some of the
critical aspects of Buddhism that are used in classifying it as philosophy include the four noble
truths, which play a critical role in illustrating different circumstances. That includes illustrating
the suffering in life as the first noble truth illustrated to the Buddhists. 2. Additionally, Buddhism
illustrates how life continues disappointing people regularly and eventually causes them to fail to
live their lives to the fullest. That is why it is important always to determine the authenticity of
Buddha`s teachings rather than following them blindly. Therefore, Buddhists are encouraged to
always reason on the different aspects provided by Buddha, which is a key concept done by all
philosophers.
Happiness is primarily achieved by releasing negative thoughts and not engaging in
judgments. Additionally, to be happy, one should sometimes dwell on the past, not the events
that may happen in the future. Therefore, Buddhism can be categorized as part of philosophy,
Stein, M. (2019). Psychological individuation and spiritual enlightenment: some comparisons
and points of contact. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 64(1), 6-22.
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considering that it primarily focuses on happiness and ensuring there is harmony among human
beings. Based on the teachings presented by Buddhism, the existing greed in the world can be
associated with hatred which is the most significant cause of evil across the globe 3. That
generally means that the primary aim of Buddhism is ensuring the world remains peaceful.
However, without the philosophy of Buddhism, then it cannot be possible to achieve the required
level of peace since there would be a higher level of hatred.
Buddhism as a religion
There are a variety of religious aspects associated with Buddhism. One of the most
significant aspects includes how Buddha believes in reincarnation, which generally includes life
after death. That includes people reborn after their death, meaning that the type of human one
will become in the other life depends on how they lived their previous lives. Therefore, if
Buddhists intend to be reborn as good humans, then they have the responsibility of earning good
karma, which is contributed by how much they are willing to follow Buddha`s teachings.
Many religions globally are generally associated with ensuring there is an ultimate goal
that all of their followers are focused on achieving. In the case of Christians, the main reward is
reaching Heaven. On the other hand, Buddhism focuses on nirvana, the ultimate reward the
Buddhists focus on after their lives. It is important to understand that nirvana cannot be
categorized as a place but rather a certain state of mind which generally means that for the
Buddhists to achieve nirvana, they should then have understood a certain level of truth.
Understanding the truth means the Buddhists should have done away with the level of suffering
resented by life.
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Stein, 6-22.
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Another key aspect of Buddhism that contributes to how much it can be categorized as
part of religion is the rituals and ceremonies, which are always part of the way people worship
across the globe. The type of rituals associated with Buddhism includes the Puja, which
primarily includes making sacrifices. By making such sacrifices, then they serve as a way of
appreciating the teachings presented to them by the Buddha 4. Such practices play a significant
role in ensuring that Buddhists remain open to the teachings and are always devoted to the
religion. However, it is worth noting that the ceremonies performed by the Buddhists are
generally different from the ones performed by other religions, where they are provided with
instructions by their leaders. In the case of Buddhism, Buddhists are generally required to
meditate by themselves.
Conclusion
It does not actually matter whether Buddhism can be classified as a religion or
philosophy. What matters is the ability of the Buddhists to strengthen their faith and have the
ability to live their lives in a way they are pleased with. However, it is important to understand
that Buddhism has many characteristics, which makes it be categorized as both a religion and a
philosophy. The fact that Buddhism believes in a superpower makes it a religion, and on the
other hand, the fact that a code of ethics guides it, then it makes Buddhism a philosophy.
4 Lopez Jr et al.
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Bibliography
Lopez Jr, D. S., Miles, J., Doniger, W., Robson, J., Biale, D., & Cunningham, L. S. (2014). The
Norton Anthology of World Religions: Buddhism.
Stein, M. (2019). Psychological individuation and spiritual enlightenment: some comparisons
and points of contact. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 64(1), 6-22.

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