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Mar 11 2010
New Buddhist Atheism

I just read a review of a new book at the Guardian website. It seems that just as some Christian scholars try to figure out which words in the New Testament are really Jesus', the author has deconstructed Buddhism to figure out what the Buddha really said. According to him, all of the supernatural stuff was added later, and most of what "real Buddhism" is about sounds a lot more like [a href=]Secular Humanism[/url]. (The biggest difference I can see from what I can tell in the review -- remember, I haven't actually read the book -- is that Buddhism seems to set up being free of emotions as a goal. I don't think there's anything like that in Secular Humanism.)

Mar 24 2010
Re: New Buddhist Atheism

Actually, while there are plenty of Buddhist sects that have degraded into some sort of deism, uncorrupted Buddhism is non-theistic. I think the end goal of Buddhism in general is supposed to be the loss/end/overcoming of sorrow (more important than enlightenment, which I think is an element that arose later (but I'm guessing)). And, the overcoming of emotions in general is a necessary step to that end. I have not point. I just like the topic. I think Buddhism is very individualistic; that may a key difference, whereas humanism is more altruistic and outward looking. But, both aim ultimately to increase net human happiness--one by turning inward and overcoming physical reality and the other by looking outward and pragmatically facing physical reality. Interesting comparison...

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