I am an atheist however I have found much inspiration in the basic text of Buddhism and find it interesting that as a religion it is fairly well oriented as an atheistic belief system. I just wonder how many people look at Buddhism and feel the same

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Irrespective of the fact that Buddhism may not have racked up as high a body count as other religions , it is still based on prescientific , primitive world views unsupported by evidence , and there have been atrocities committed in its name . You seem to be defending a religion due to its apparent benignity in comparison with others . That does not make this superstition any more true than Christianity , Islam , or any of the multitude human mass delusions extant .

You seem to be defending a religion due to its apparent benignity in comparison with others

But that seems like a relatively good criterion, to me. Sure, it has potential for being abused like other religions, but there's a lot more "find your own enlightenment" in Buddhism, rather than "believe in this or that, or else..." prescription/proscription. The devil's in the details, so to speak.

 You seem to be defending a religion due to its apparent benignity in comparison with others . That does not make this superstition any more true than Christianity , Islam , or any of the multitude human mass delusions extant.

Clearly, I'd rather live among Buddhists than Muslims or fundamentalist Christians. To quote Jon Lovitz when he was on SNL: "Is that so wrong?!!!"

Truth is a consideration, but far from the only one. 

Also, much of Buddhism's theology is strangely congruent with modern physics. Reality as fundamentally being based on vibrations, for example. 

Buddhism as a philosophy is pretty nice sounding-
Until you actually live it.
I rather miss the striking disillusionment farangs experience when they go to Wat seeking enlightenment, only to realize it's the same thing they are escaping from.
A religion of peace it might be..
but manned by asshole humans.
Ask the Muslim minorities that are systematically murdered in Burma...or hell, even in the southern states of Thailand.
True, a lot of the violence is retaliatory..
doesn't make much of a difference if you're the one being blown up.

Interesting you should mention Thailand. It's murder rate (4.8 per 100,000) is exactly the same as the United States'. Those peaceful Buddhists.

To be fair, the Muslim minority in the south is responsible for a large portion of the body count. 

I missed a nightclub bombing by just a few hours in Hatai and on another occasion I was involved in a train derailment. 

Separatists. 

Uggh. 

As only 4% of the population of Thailand, those Muslims must have to get up pretty early in the morning to start killing people. 

No.. they just do it more efficiently. 

With bombs. 

Also, 4% isn't an accurate assessment due to the prevalence of undocumented migrants and stateless tribes people. 

There really ISN'T an accurate assessment. Infrastructure for things like hospitals aren't particularly prevalent in the rural regions. Home births are pretty much how it's done out there.

The Thai government even outright denies the existence of certain minorities. They are stateless, citizens of nowhere.  

My issue with Buddhism is the belief in Karma.
No. A child born with brain cancer did not commit evil in another life.
No.. A woman that was brutally assaulted didn't ' deserve' it for some wrong doing in a previous life.
In theory, the idea of assigning personal responsibility to world suffering is a bit better than the fickle whims of some temperamental deity. I get the psychology of why such a belief system would develope.
In practice-
Well, the Thai people have a saying, "Sum num naa" Roughly translated, it means " you always get what you deserve."

That is not any Karma I am familiar with. Typically, Karma only punishes you for a past life by rebirthing you as a lower form of life. A wicked person may be reborn as a rat or fly, for example. I've never heard of it being interpreted as lining a sinner up for maltreatment in the next life.

Can you refer me to a text supporting your interpretation?

Perhaps the western flavor is a bit different.
Being born poor is considered a ' lower form.'
It's pretty class biased.
I only lived in a Buddhist nation for half a decade.
Again, maybe it's more cultural than text based religious.
I still go to Wat with my Thai neighbor.
Going to Wat isn't like going to Christian church.
It's not particularly sermon or lecture based.

I think when hippie-dippies talk about "karma," it's a bowdlerized version that means about the same as "What goes around comes around." That's not Hindu/Buddhist karma. In fact, they even talk about karma applying in the current life, not the next. So, it has become a completely Westernized concept.

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Posted by Quincy Maxwell on July 20, 2014 at 9:37pm 17 Comments

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