Take it or leave it!

If buddhism is a belief then would it be necessary to prove it and why not just leave it at that ?! Do you consider Buddhism is a belief system ?!
Even the 4NT 8FP 37 FOE
is also a belief ?!

My personal belief is that what the Buddha taught is primarily a spiritual ideal, and a practice leading toward that spiritual ideal, with a modest accompaniment of beliefs that help to orient and make sense of that practice. It’s not a religion; it’s not a philosophy - although developed religions and philosophies have subsequently grown out of the original spiritual impulses provided by the Buddha.

The Buddha knew, and taught, some very important things about the nature and causes of suffering. He taught that there was an ideally purified, liberated and perfected state, attainable by human beings, in which that suffering has ceased and a kind of happiness unsurpassed and unsurpassable by all forms of worldly happiness has been attained. He taught a way of living and cultivating oneself that is most conducive to reaching that spiritual goal.

All the rest is extra, added by others later.

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Religion is a particular system
of faith or belief .
Religion is about human beings relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, absolute, spiritual, divine, or worthy of especial reverence and learn . It is also commonly regarded as consisting of the way people deal with ultimate concerns about their lives and their fate after death.

Religion is a word which refers to approaches to human spirituality which usually encompass a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural or transcendent quality, which give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to a higher power or truth.

Therefore , according to above definitions it is a religion , beliefs and system of faith
. There is no need to prove anything since it is unproveable . It may be seems logical , reasonable , beneficial , convincing etc, but , all these is a relative conditions .
All we can says is that we picked up a varieties of sophisticated knowledges along the lines in our lives which we may not directly know for sure for ourself !

Well, it depends how much of the stuff that now comprises the orthodox belief systems, devotions, rituals, moral instructions and practices of the various Buddhist religions were actually taught by, and important to the Buddha. I tend to think that what he was mainly interested in doing was teaching people how to attain nibbana.

That is unproveable . And Theravada tradition has different interpretation of it.

Wearing the robes, following precepts etc Is in fact religious .

When the Buddha was just walking around India, wearing rag-made robes and begging, was he practicing a religion?


There are two general definition systems: the sociological/functional and the phenomenological/philosophical.

I think you’re each talking about different definitions.

It’s a complicated topic; instead of using these huge packaged terms like “religion”, try to make the word a phrase or a sentence. In the OP, it’s “belief system”, and some examples would be helpful. “System of faith or belief”, if meant the same way, would mean that “faith” is a core component of what the term “religion” is trying to convey.

So, the main issue is going to surround faith, and what that means, and whether that’s a legitimate epistemological stance. I think it’s easiest to set aside “religion” and whatnot, and talk about what it means to have a good reason to believe something, a good reason to act one way or another.

Why get dogmatic about whether Buddhism is a religion or not? Why argue over mere semantics?

Yes , the time with all the background of believing in the kamma , rebirth , samsara etc concluded it was then . What do you think of practicing jhāna is ? The ascetics around was samanas brahmanas jains etc were they not religious ? All this stuff require faith !

Whatever in the Buddha’s teachings consisted of beliefs such as kamma , rebirth , samsara , deva/god realms ,ghost realms , hells , asuras , jhāna state, psychic powers etc etc , all these things involved faith ! And Matches the meaning of religion . The way the style of living for the Buddha , his disciples , today’s bhikkhu bhikkhuni with the robes , alms round , observing the complex precepts , etc etc . The whole system of buddhism undeniable is a religion .

It just means we take something for real in the first place, accepted it and therefore following it . Whether it is a “truth” , “ultimate truth” , god , creator /non creator etc , whatever , you name it ,
there are the same thing . Other people may not see it as such . What I am saying is , You are trying to prove something that is unnecessary ! You can rationalize it, discuss about it , argues about it , do what ever you deems fit , that’s it, why the hassles ?!

It seems to me practicing jhana is a meditation technique. The existence of the jhanic states of absorption one enters, and the efficacy of the techniques for entering them, is verified directly by the practitioner. From their description, there is nothing miraculous about them, although one needs to work diligently to develop the skill of entering them. The sequence of jhanas involves increasingly greater detachment from external and bodily stimuli, and increasingly deeper absorption into the object of meditation.

Other people may think otherwise , they may think we psycho ourselves into believing the whole concept . Why do you want to train your mind to get into any state or inducing the mind to remain quiet ? For what purpose ? If you are not believing something behind your actions , will you do it in the first place ?
First , you are believing yourself in the state of suffering , therefore , you are trying to get out of it , but , not everyone seems agree with you . Some believe in something else , some think living is not suffering . Life is Sat Chit Ananda !

Because I think it will relieve my suffering, and help me relieve the suffering of others.

My reason for thinking this is that the deeper I go into meditation, the more it seems to lead into the lessening of suffering and the arising of blissful states. So I have good reason for thinking that continued efforts in along the same direction will result in greater benefits of the same kind.

That’s good , that’s fine . But , averting from your ordinary state to dwell in blissful state meaning running away from it does not solve your dilemma , does it ?
The deeper you goes into the state (if there is one existed and not imagined), the mind can be deluded by the altered states that you presume blissful. However , at the end of the day you may fail and ask yourself what’s the point of all the hardship ?! First , you think yourself in suffering , implying there is a self whom are suffering , then you says you want to get rid of the self which is the very self of you which you called you , isn’t that contradicting ?!

Well, if there is no end of suffering, then Buddhism and the Buddha have no point anyway. So what exactly do you think “the problem” is? What problem should I be trying to solve?

There is no problem , we believe in something which cannot be proven and we demand for proof , that somehow could cause confusion .

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What I’ve seen so far (not very much I’m afraid) of the writings in the EBTs about Dhamma, this is not a belief system, because things like the 4NT/8FP are apparent right here, right now. I don’t have to believe in them as something to attain in the future, I just look and there they are.

As an aside, what is the 37 FOE - newbie here. :slight_smile:

You practice 4nt 8fp because you believe in something such as kamma rebirth samsara , or at least thinking life is suffering which other might not think so . Right view in 8FP is believing in rebirth and cause and effect .
37 factors of enlightenment .

Maybe. But for me (not a Buddhist) the Buddha is just pointing out some features in the contemplative landscape. The 4NT/8NP point out both suffering and the cessation of suffering, not just suffering. Both of these are apparent.

Thanks for the 37 FOE expansion.