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Thread: Is there anything wrong with Buddhism?

  1. #1

    Is there anything wrong with Buddhism?

    This is a short article from the ThoughtCo website:


    What is Wrong With Buddhism?

    by Austin Cline


    https://www.thoughtco.com/whats-wron...ddhism-3975210

    Any comments relating to the article ?

  2. #2
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    A good find, Aloka. Here's my take:

    It's a typical anti-Buddhist argument which contains misunderstandings and part truths.

    1.“irrational, anti-humanistic elements -- elements which effectively allow or encourage the anti-social and immoral behaviour”

    There may be less than rational aspects to Buddhism, but to call Buddhism anti-humanistic is fairly bizarre.

    2.“Yes, it can reduce stress, but, as it turns out, no more so than simply sitting still does. Meditation can even exacerbate depression, anxiety, and other negative emotions in certain people.”

    Depends on how you measure stress. There will be a drop in blood pressure by merely sitting still, but that is hardly a measure of stress and stress-related illnesses, for which meditation is as successful at reducing as medication, but without the side effects of such medications.

    3.“few scientists would equate the property of emergence with nonexistence, as anatta does”

    This is misunderstanding anatta, the lack of permanent existence. Things have moved on since 2001 in terms of understanding how the brain works, and how we perceive the world. We do indeed have to deal with the illusions thrown up by the brain when we perceive things.

    4.“Buddhism holds that enlightenment makes you morally infallible”

    On the contrary, you become responsible for your moral code, unlike people who are forced into accepting ‘infallible’ external moral codes devised by others.

    5.“detachment from ordinary life is the surest route to salvation… It suggests that life is a problem that can be solved, a cul-de-sac that can be, and should be, escaped”

    Salvation isn’t a part of Buddhism. Just as being spiritual isn’t, as there is no holy spirit involved, at least not in the Buddhism I know. I agree about the monasticism aspect, but I don’t think there is escape from life involved, rather it means escape from the misunderstandings we have about life.

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    Some of it is just pure strawmaning

    Some of it is criticism of what happens around the more popular Vajarayana or Zen Buddhism

    Some of it seems to be finding that some ideas expressed by the Buddha are weird, which is always the case at first. To solve this one, one has to deepen their understanding, and those who eventually find it does make sense after all, generally stick around.

    I can point to some cases where the Buddha praises something that would be considered morally wrong. For example, in the Udana of KN a monk ignores his former wife who demands that he takes care of his child, and the Buddha praises him for not doing anything. That can look awful.

    Also sometimes there are very naive statements, like that the mass of planet earth cannot be assessed, or a very weird idea of the continent's geography, or how a solar eclipse actually takes place or the idea that the moon shines a lot more than stars (completely wrong in terms of what we know today, since the moon does not produce light and even what it reflects is billions of times less intense than what an actual star truly emits. It's just that it looks that way seen from here).

    But in any case, those considerations are not fundamental. They just contradict the belief in Theravada countries that Abhidhamma describes all the universe, including quantum mechanics, general relativity, electro-magnetism and much more.
    Last edited by silence; 02 Feb 18 at 11:07.

  4. #4
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Hi, Aloka. I was interested to see that "anatta" was mentioned. Seems like the only logical complaint justifiable to an atheist and or an outsider.

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