Buddhism versus Christianity
- Buddhists seem to think there is something non-material about the mind. But surely the mind is just the brain, or maybe a program running on the brain? Humans are machines - biological computers or automata. The universe does not require our existence - we are accidents of evolution. Our minds cease to exist when the brain dies.
You're referring to the philosophical view known as Materialism or Physicalism, which states that the human mind has no spiritual dimensions. Buddhist philosophers reject the computer model of the mind and can produce rational arguments against the mind being any kind of machine. The universe does require our existence.
- All religions are just memes - cultural viruses that take over gullible minds.
The belief that all religions are parasites of the mind is known as the 'meme theory' of religion, and has recently been gaining ground among anthropologists and sociologists. The theory states that memes perform two types of actions:
(1) Take control of their victims' minds.
(2) Encourage their victims to spread the meme to others.
Though the meme theory accurately predicts and explains the behavior of the more intolerant and aggressive cults, Buddhism does not seem to possess any of the properties we would expect from a meme. See MEMES for a detailed argument why the meme criticism of religion does not apply to Buddhism.
- Science has made religion obsolete.
There is a common belief that the need for God as an explanation of the unknown has been eliminated by science. This may well be so (see Thealogy), but not all religions believe in a 'God of the gaps'. Buddhism can get along quite happily without needing to speculate on the existence or non-existence of a First Cause. The real threat to all religions comes not from the closing of the gaps which God used to occupy (such as origin of the species), but from the doctrine of mechanistic materialism, which teaches that there is no spiritual dimension to human life. Buddhism at present seems to be the only coherent philosophical system which is capable of resisting materialism and emphasising human spiritual potential. To quote Alfred North Whitehead - 'Christianity ... has always been a religion seeking a metaphysic, in contrast to Buddhism which is a metaphysic generating a religion.'
- Religions cause terrorism and war.
With stories of religious terrorism seldom out of the news nowadays, there is a tendency in the West to regard all Asian religions as dangerous fanatical cults. Non-Western religions are often lumped together as being barbaric, primitive, intolerant and aggressive.
This is discriminatory, ethnocentric, and very unfair to Buddhism. Buddhism is peaceful, promotes the arts and sciences, forbids wars of conquest, and has been associated with some very advanced civilizations, such as that of King Ashoka in the third century BC.
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Memories of perfect harmony — Free Malaysia Today
We respected one another's values and beliefs, so much so that I filled my chest with teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Atheism and so on, in addition to the compulsory Islamic classes for all Muslim girls.
What are the negative & positive aspects of Buddhism from a Christian perspective?
I've been both and can honestly say that being a Buddhist has made me calmer and more respectful of others.
Positives: To many to count.