Is it possible to be an atheist and a Buddhist ? Buddhist philosophy rarely reference to the supernatural, only in the area of reincarnation and origin of the Buddha to some degree. the rest is just good solid Mental Health
for example:Buddha Quotes
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. ...
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. ...
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
I heard a Buddhist monk say 'if you believe in reincarnation your goal is to have a good life.'
if you don't believe in reincarnation your goal is to have a good life. I personally do not believe in reincarnation. I do have a meditation practice I do find solace in the Dharma.
and feel I can use it in my day-to-day live.
does this make me less of an atheist ?
Since age 13, I have been an atheist. At 18, I found a slender book in the University of Michigan bookstore, "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tsu. I love:
The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action, watch the timing.
No fight: No blame.
From “Tao Te Ching,” written in the sixth century B.C. by Lao Tsu.
My mother was an atheist and a Buddhist.. some of her daily rituals were Buddhist...meditation, candles, etc. She liked the practicality of the lessons but never embraced that a god was behind any of it...
I meditate and do some rituals because I like them...I think they are independent of what I believe
I find the greatest attraction to Buddhism, Taoism, for the absence of diety and focus on mindfulness, establishing life patterns of compassion and authenticity, and consistently re-examining life choices. There is great freedom and contentment in having the learnings and intellectual power to know how best to live my own life.
Atheism is a non-belief in a god. I don't believe Buddism requires a god, so I don't see the two as in opposition to each other.
Buddism does require a belief in things that cannot be proven, so if you're a skeptic in addition to being an atheist, you're probably in conflict with yourself.
Adopting some Buddist practices - like meditation - would not put you in opposition to atheism or skepticsm, depending on why you meditate
I am a Buddhist and a Agnostic, but more importantly I am a Realist and I realize the past and the future requires some sense of self awareness and enlightenment to provide the answers and give order to the world.
Things like karma, which basically says what goes around comes around and reaping what you sew gives a sense of order to life. I use the principle theories and teaching of Buddhism, and discard the dogma and religious theory.
Do not kill, help the less fortunate, etc, etc,. There are some teaching in all religions that are good advice to follow and to live by. I am sure buddhism has some concepts that are good. You can use philosophy to find the same teachings. Take the good things from any religion and discard the bad stuff. One does not need to believe in a supernatural being in order to recognize that some part of a religion can be useful in life. If you can use some part of buddhism to make your life better, than go for it. You do not have to accept everything that is part of the religion.
Buddhism, at it's core, is a philosophy on how to reduce suffering. The rituals and practices that tend to come with it are primarily the product of time and blending with traditional practices of various regions. But it's worth noting the need for some kind of ritual.
Technically speaking, you are a Buddhist if you are following the Eightfold Path, regardless of what you do, or do not believe.
Mindfulness is a big part of Buddhism and neuroscience supports it's benefits, as well as the correlations between mindfulness and prosocial behaviors. That's right, science supports compassion.
I would just like to take a moment to celebrate all of the recent advances in neuroscience and give a shout out to Fred Gage and Michael M. Merzenich for all the advances made possible by their discoveries!
I can't speak specifically about the Buddhist perspective on reincarnation, but we all know that energy is neither created nor destroyed. When you die, that energy goes somewhere. It doesn't have to include your conscious identity of who you are.
I know nothing about buddhism,or if there is a conflict in atheism with buddism... atheism is defined as a lack of belief in a supreme being. To me, pretty simple. Buddhism either does, or does not propound belief in a supreme being. Seems to me that just trying to take what I see as the best from any philosophy, and trying to follow that as a way to live, as best I can. Is the best I can do. With that said....to strive for perfection is a virtue, to EXPECT perfection in ourself, or others....is irrational. good luck
I think it is very possible. I think the issue is about the relationship between spirituality and religion. They are not mutually exclusive. While religion often expresses itself in ways devoid of spirituality, spirituality doesn't need religion to express itself.
To be atheist is to reject gods (deities). Theologies, propagating notions of existence of gods can be reasoned to be included in that definition. That's it!
Rejecting gods is more of an attitude or state of mind than a substitute thought system for 'religion'. Unfortunately, there are many self-aggrandizing people who wish to expand and elaborate the definition of that state of mind. From where they get the notion that they know more about our reality than others or at least enough more to self-license dictating to others what they must or must not agree with to be considered a valid atheist I cannot fathom.
They seem to function in a similar way to theologians. They want to gather their own 'flocks' of non-believers and hijack the term 'atheist' as their exclusive, property; as though other rejectors of gods are lesser beings with lesser intellect if they refuse to subscribe to the expanded definition's requirements of them; as though 'atheism' is some kind of monolithic designation that they alone possess the right to franchise.
It is largely because of the behavior of these officious, sniffy prigs that 'believers' see correlations with their own franchised thought systems. We hear it all the time from them. "Atheists are just another kind of religion" they say. I say atheists aren't even remotely like an organized religion or non-religion. We have in our midst, however, some very presumptuous and outspoken claimants as 'leaders' who do unmistakable impressionist acts dictating 'articles of faith' remarkably similar to Bishops and Mullahs.
For me, my opinion, True vision, the first step of the 8 in buddist beliefs breaks down to addressing fear. I do my limited best to follow the 8 steps. I use them as a guide.
As far as reincarnation. It is the reward for those who follow the religion. It is there to passify the fear of death. It is just as fake as heaven.
Yes. I consider myself Buddhist, Taoist, satanist, dudist, church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, probably also discordian but I haven’t researched that one enough. All of these are more philosophies than religions. Reincarnation and karma are early concepts of the cycle of matter and energy, and cause and effect. Nothing supernatural need be believed to make the philosophy effective.
From what I remember reading here a few weeks/months ago, there are a few people here that believe you can be both an atheist and believe in Jesus/God.
To be honest, I believe atheism has nothing to do with the paranormal/supernatural. It's only about the whether or not you believe in a God.
I am not an expert on this but am an ex Hindu. I was taught Buddhism is the offset of Hinduism. The Chinese and Indians prayed and meditated on the same mountains. The groups separated and one group travel more South to China. ... then Buddhism spread to Korea, Japan and Malaysia up to Sri Lanka.
The Buddhists believe in everything Hindus believe in viz kharma, dharma moksha and reincarnation which is the cycle of rebirth. However the Buddhists don't have priests, Brahmins, rituals and caste systems, etc but they do have similar chanting and burn incense sticks before the chant.
Yoga too is connected to both Hinduism and Buddhism and is associated with religious beliefs. There are about 7 to 9 different forms and you can choose which path of yoga you wish to practice without connecting it to a religion, calling it spiritual instead. I'm also confused sometimes.
Yoga and karate was practiced on the coastlines of India, was one sport so to speak. Bhodhiharma went further South and taught the Chinese karate and left Yoga behind for the Indians only. Both these forms of art are linked to meditation, some form of divinity. The hands are clasped together most times in "prayer" form, the same as yoga. You sit in exactly the same position. Sometimes both hands are stretched out offering your inner self to be free of anxiety. I remain confused about the religious connection or medium you're lifting yourself up to and perhaps convenient for most these days to say it's just spiritual. ... perhaps it's like going to gym for good healthy mental balance etc with the form of yoga chosen. I haven't practiced either - meditation or yoga.
Atheism isn't just a non belief in any god. It should also include embracing principles of reason and a rejection of mysticism of all kinds. Buddhism, despite its warm and fuzzy pretentions, is riddled with mystical nonsense, like karma and reincarnation which require a kind of faith, even if followers and practitioners claim otherwise. I lived in a buddhist country long enough to see it firsthand. There are a few ideas in buddhism I like, others I find repugnant. Some reconcile calling themselves atheist and buddhist, but I consider it sloppy thinking.
You can not be truly atheist and truly Buddhist, but that's mostly semantic because these world views are contradictory, therefor logically incompatible. You can be agnostic and practice any religion, because that just means that you accept that you don't know which if any religion is correct.