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Buddhism



Apologetics Index first published a list of research resources on Buddhism in November, 1996.

As with everything in Apologetics Index, while we have a particular focus on Christian apologetics this updated entry continues our tradition of linking to study resources from a variety of perspectives.

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Basic Buddhism

  • The current universe has evolved through natural law.
  • Truth has been given through countless ages by various Buddhas or enlightened beings.
  • Gautama Buddha, who lived 2,500 years ago, is the teacher for our era.
  • While salvation depends on individual effort, the Buddhist is to take refuge in the Buddha, his teaching (dharma) and the Buddhist community (sangha).
  • The Buddha taught Four Noble Truths: (1) suffering is real; (2) suffering is caused by selfish desire; (3) suffering will cease when selfish desire is eliminated; and (4) selfish desire will cease through following the Noble Eightfold Path.
  • The Noble Eightfold Path that leads to nirvana involves (1) Right View, (2) Right Resolve, (3) Right Speech, (4) Right Action, (5) Right Livelihood, (6) Right Effort, (7) Right Mindfulness, and (8) Right Concentration.
  • All living things are subject to the law of karma, the principle of cause and effect, which controls the cycle of reincarnation.
  • The Buddhist is to abstain from killing, stealing, forbidden sex, lying, and the use of illicit drugs and liquor.
  • There is no God or Supreme Creator.
  • Buddhism is not irrational, pessimistic, or nihilistic.

- Source: James A. Beveryley, Basic Buddhism, Christianity Today, June 11, 2001. [1]

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Footnotes

Apologetics Index first posted an entry on Buddhism on Nov. 11, 1996. This updated version was first posted on Dec. 11, 2011.

  1. This is a sidebar to the article, Hollywood's Idoloffsite: "The Dalai Lama, a spiritual hero to millions, works to liberate Tibet, calls on spirits, and believes Jesus lived previous lives," by James A. Beverley, Christianity Today, June 11, 2001
  2. The term Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. Wikipedia says:

    For practicing Buddhists, references to "dharma" (dhamma in Pali) particularly as "the Dharma", generally means the teachings of the Buddha, commonly known throughout the East as Buddha-Dharma.

    The status of Dharma is regarded variably by different Buddhist traditions. Some regard it as an ultimate truth, or as the fount of all things which lies beyond the "three realms" (Sanskrit: tridhatu) and the "wheel of becoming" (Sanskrit: bhavacakra), somewhat like the pagan Greek and Christian logos: this is known as Dharmakaya (Sanskrit). Others, who regard the Buddha as simply an enlightened human being, see the Dharma as the essence of the "84,000 different aspects of the teaching" (Tibetan: chos-sgo brgyad-khri bzhi strong) that the Buddha gave to various types of people, based upon their individual propensities and capabilities.

    Dharma refers not only to the sayings of the Buddha, but also to the later traditions of interpretation and addition that the various schools of Buddhism have developed to help explain and to expand upon the Buddha's teachings. For others still, they see the Dharma as referring to the "truth," or the ultimate reality of "the way that things really are" (Tib. Cho).

    The Dharma is one of the Three Jewels of Buddhism in which practitioners of Buddhism seek refuge, or that upon which one relies for his or her lasting happiness. The Three Jewels of Buddhism are the Buddha, meaning the mind's perfection of enlightenment, the Dharma, meaning the teachings and the methods of the Buddha, and the Sangha, meaning those awakened beings who provide guidance and support to followers of the Buddha.

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This post was last updated: Jan. 22, 2012