the Culture Bomb

Buddhism: An atheist morality

I’m not sure what happens after you die. I do spend a lot of time in meditation, and I do have “visions” and what people call out of body experiences. As such I do think I have some insight into the unknown.

But this isn’t about me. I’ve been reading articles and watching videos all dealing with atheism versus religious dogma. A person of religion tends to maintain a superstitious view of atheism as a tool of the devil. An atheist is a person with no morals, because without God, they have no boundaries.

But if you follow logic, it’s easy to see the opposite. If there is no intelligent designer behind life, that makes life just that much more mystifying. And if this life is the only one you get, carpe diem!

Let me just make this quick point. Buddhism is not a religion. It speaks not of an afterlife or the supernatural. It is the philosophy of a process to discover your true self, free of the memes that lead to suffering.

By this rationale a Buddhist is an atheist. However, we tend to view Buddhism as a religion because of the myths, symbols and rituals which accompany this philosophy. So for the sake of argument, let’s suppose it is a religion. Like Christianity and Islam it is a major religion that expands based on the conversion of non-adherents as opposed to Hinduism and Judaism in which one traditionally has to be born into.

With this in mind, I just want to point out that Buddhism is the only major religion of the world that has spread through nonviolence. Buddhism spreads by example, not subjugation. A Buddhist just maintains their clear mind, compassionate nature and others want to emulate. Christians and Muslims have a record of invading and conquering foreign lands, giving the ultimatum of convert or die.  This proves you do not need a deity in order to have morals. Sure there are deeper questions this brings up, because while the Buddha isn’t a deity, a Buddha is viewed as someone who has attained some sort of higher wisdom.

Furthermore, Buddhists in some aspect have deified the Buddha, and in fact have turned the philosophy into a religion to use as a tool to convert people. There are Buddhist monks and nuns. The same thing has happened within another atheistic philosophy from the East called Taoism. The original literature relating to Taoism says nothing of the afterlife. Yet there are Taoist monks and nuns, and there are statues which can be exoterrically viewed as deities.

But this is how these philosophies(memes) have transformed in order to be more easily understood and accepted since their original inception. At the root of these concepts is a path to understanding the natural world around us and within us. And they do not deal with that which can not be viewed empirically.

It’s atheist morality. Because almost all the real horrors we have visited upon our fellow man has been in the name of a god.

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This entry was published on October 21, 2010 at 12:40 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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