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Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? How about Taoism?

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By Erick676
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1

both depending on how you treat it.

1

Yes... it is! However, taking philosophies from it, working with meditation and generally being kind is not a religion. Even with Cathalisim we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water. If I’m at all Buddhist it would be secular Buddhism… But I don’t think I’m Buddhist because I don’t think serious Buddhists would think I’m Buddhist☯️

1

These things are religions despite having no deity. Religion to me is one of those things where there is a list of symptoms and if you have enough of them, you have a religion. Worship of a deity is only one of those symptoms. Others include adherence to a holy book and/or tradition that asserts some unfalsifiable speculative truth, a belief in supernatural beings, forces and/or realms whether the list of such things includes a god or not, belief in an asserted cosmology, a priest class (preferably with funny dresses and hats and various ascetic trappings), an elevation of religious faith over intellectual honesty, etc.

There is, I suppose, a philosophical core behind and permeating each religion (for example, authoritarianism and presuppositionalism is a pretty big component of many religions) but since I think it's true that every individual and group has a philosophy whether or not they recognize it as such, I think it's kind of meaningless to say a religion is also a philosophy. Particularly when religion tends not to innovate or create anything, they tend only to appropriate.

mordant Level 8 July 2, 2018
1

We had a similar post a couple of days ago. I will give the same answer. Yes it is a religion. It may also be a philosophy but Buddha is definitely worshipped and his statues are everywhere in numerous Asian countries. Offerings are left and they have monks. You know the old expression “if it look like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck”.

0

Confucius says man that wrights to fast scribble.

azzow2 Level 9 July 1, 2018
1

It's not about what you believe, it's about how you conduct yourself in the belief.

It can be philosophical, religious, or just a cult.

Lifestone Level 5 July 1, 2018

Like when the Buddhists in Myanmar kill and drive out the Rohinga people because they are Muslim. Is this a philosophical or a religious decision ?

2

Who am I to say what another's life and belief is or is not?

jlynn37 Level 8 July 1, 2018
1

A philosophy is a system of thought that must be prepared to adapt and change. Neither Buddhism nor Taoism allows that.

I don't think that's true. I think both allow you to adapt and change. And I agree with @Stacey48 that that's not in any definition of philosophy I've heard of.

@Stacey48 @tnorman1236 I didn't say it was a definition. Forgive me, perhaps I should have said that one of the characteristics of a philosophy is that it must be inherently able to change. I still say that neither Buddhism nor Taoism is capable of that.

3

I am both, and more. I chose the principles of Buddhism and Taoism to guide my life in my 20s, like many others did in the late 60s. As a hereditary Jew raised as a Christian, no formal religions made sense to me so i focused on principles instead of dogma. Now i don't fit into any category or box. And i like it here. hahaha

josephr Level 7 July 1, 2018

How do you see yourself Josephr ? You obviously think outside the box that is why you don’t fit in one. What do you say you are when asked?

@Marionville Thanks for asking. I see and describe myself, in this context, as a secular hereditary Jew who has rules for himself; to friends i explain that the self-direction includes always behaving truthfully, honestly, openly, and with empathy. I'll add that Taoist principles as published have inspired many of my beliefs and behaviours. I also know that what 'i don't know" far exceeds 'what i do know, ' so one of my jobs here (in life) is to learn.

Is that more info than you wanted? LLOL

@josephr I like your reply. You are obviously a man at peace with himself. As individuals we are living, thinking animals and can call ourselves whatever we think we are. That is what distinguishes us from the lower orders of species. I subscribe to all your principles and refer to myself as a humanist.

@Marionville You are perceptive. I am at peace with myself and the world in which i function. Thank you for seeing that

You have a wonderful view of humanity, our world, and our role which obviously matches mine. Maybe that's why i believe it is wonderful. LLOL

Seriously though, i periodically search for an easy label to use for describing what i believe, toyed with humanist and humanism as it is defined by others, but when i tested it out to see what others understood it to mean, blank looks was my response. So my inner jury is still out about that and i still describe who i am instead of labelling myself. It's all good though.

Now i need to go to bed. Thanks for the chat. Cheers.

1

Where's the both category? smile001.gif

Got it! Are they both?

@Erick67 Yes, I think as a way of life, Buddhism especially, with it's Four Noble Truths and Eight Fold Path, is still considered a philosophy of life.
Here's some backup for that:
[bigthink.com]

@Silverwhisper I already said it up above but I will say it again. They may say that they are a philosophy but they display all factors needed to be called a religion. Buddha is worshipped with temples and large statues, offerings are left, they have priests ....that is not a philosophy that is a religion.

@Marionville We know it is a religion, and is the 6th ranking religion in the world. It is not only them who also see it as a philosophy. It is not theistic, and rather than having a magic god they have Buddha as an ordinary man and a great teacher whom they do revere and worship, yes. And the main teachings of Buddhism also are a philosophy of life for a sensible, loving and respectful way to be a decent person. Not a perfect person of course. And I put the link for a reference for the how Buddhism is also a philosophy of life in my comment just above if you'd like to check it out.

4

They both started as a philosophy and got turned into a religion.

For some. LLOL

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