Faith, Religion & Theology

Topics: Islam, Buddhism, Four Noble Truths Pages: 5 (1485 words) Published: June 30, 2013
World Religions and Global Responsibility Questions and Answers

2. Buddhism- Explain the following Buddhist notions: Four Noble Truths, anicca and anatta, Nirvana, karuna, the Eightfold Path. Buddhism’s contribution to global responsibility revolves around its understanding of the person as anatta and as able to be enlightened. Explain.

-Four Noble Truths:
1. “Everyone’s life contains dukkha [suffering]. Life isn’t all bad, but it is not what we’d life it to be.” 2. “Dukkha [suffering] is caused by tanha [selfishness]. Putting oneself before everyone and everything else.” 3. “To stop tanha [selfishness], we have to stop dukkha [suffering].” 4. “To stop dukkha [suffering], try to follow Buddha’s instructions and example, contained especially in what he called ‘the Eightfold Path.’”

-Anicca: “When we look into the first and second truths and ask just why selfishness (tanha) causes suffering (dukkha) in our lives, the answer is that Buddha called anicca: the fact that everything that exists is related to everything else and is constantly in process of change.”

-Anatta: “If everything that exists is anicca- changing and interrelated then we humans beings are anatta, which literally means ‘no selves.’” Buddhism has no principal of identity.
-Nirvana: To realize anicca and anatta is nirvana- bliss and enlightenment. Literally, nirvana means to blow out the candle of false self.
-Karuna: Compassion for all feeling of reality.
-Eightfold Path:
“Steps 1 and 2 urge you to take the message of Buddha seriously: give it a change; try it out; you’ll probably like it.” (Creed) “Steps 3, 4 and 5 represent the ethical component of Buddha’s message.” (Code) “Steps 6, 7 and 8 all boil down to one thing: meditation.” (Cult/Ceremony)

***Bliss only happens through meditation***
Interrelationship rather than individualism. “…we cannot be happy by trying individually to compete against and win over each other. Rather, each of us, and each nation, is a relationship. We have to live and act and be together, in relationship of care and concern.” The need/possibility of personal transformation. Everyone can reach nirvana, but only through meditation. “Buddha holds up the possibility and the promise that human beings can truly undergo transformation of consciousness, a change in the way we look at and feel about ourselves and others.”

***Transformation only happens through meditation***

3. Judaism- How is Jewish creed summarized in the experience of God as historical? How does Torah express Jewish code? How does the Sabbath illustrate Jewish Ceremony? How is Judaism’s contribute to global responsibility summarized in its view of a) hope, b) human responsibility and c) justice?

- “For all religions, history is important. For Judaism, it is essential. For Jews, not only their own identity but the very identity of God is tied tightly to what is going on in history. The central historical event in the formation of the Jewish people was their incredible escape from slavery in Egypt, around 1250 B.C.E. They were convinced that it was God (Yahweh) who was freeing them and that, if they did their part, God would continue to stay with them. It is often said that Yahweh is a ‘transcendent’ Deity- a God totally different from and not to be identified with the world. While this may be true, Jews would want to remind their friends that this transcendent God is also a Deity- a God truly present in and part of what is going on this world.”

-“Jewish experience and beliefs is the conviction that while they can depend on Yahweh to being about a better future, Yahweh is also depending on them! To ‘work with’ – that is to be ‘col-laborators’ and even ‘co-creators’ with Yahweh in the task of moving history forward toward what some of the Jewish prophets called the Reign of God.” The way to do this is by following Torah- the law. Jews believe they experience God when they follow the law, since God is working with them.

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