Buddhism, a Religion or a Philosophy?
Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? To find the answer to this question, I believe we must first identify the difference between the two. The definition of “religion” is “the commitment and detection to a faith or observation.” The definition of “philosophy” is “the pursuit of wisdom.” So from this, we can say that the difference is that philosophy is to pursue wisdom through learning and experiencing, while religion is to commit yourself to a certain belief by means of faith. There are many philosophers today that say Buddhism is a philosophy and not a religion. They say this on account of what Buddhism teaches. It teaches you to always better yourself by seeking knowledge and understanding of the world (although this understanding is to come from Buddhist history and not from one’s own perceptions). To continue on the path of answering the question aforementioned, I will give a basic understanding of the Buddhist beliefs. First of all, you may not realize this but Buddhism is one of the larger “religions” in the world, with an estimated four-hundred million Buddhists. As with a lot of large religions, Buddhism is not completely united under one exact belief system. What I mean by this is that within the Buddhist religion there are many different sects with differing beliefs. For the purpose of this paper, I will inform you of the basic beliefs that Buddhism was founded. Buddhism revolves around one certain man popularly known as The Buddha. The legend of Buddha is about the son of an Indian war king named Siddhartha Gautama who lived from approximately 566 B.C. to 480 B.C. Siddhartha, having become tired of his extravagant and monetary life style, renounced his royalty and became a monk at the age of twenty-nine. As a monk, he searched for the truth of the world around him. Several years after becoming a monk, Siddhartha went for a walk through the forest. While in the forest, he came across a large tree which...
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