REL-355 Hassam Khan
ARGUMENT AGAINST SECULAR BUDDHISM
Secular Buddhism is a new modern westernized belief which has been altered
from the traditional Buddhism beliefs. Secular Buddhism is the understanding of the deep
wisdom contained within Buddhist philosophy but without any of the superstitious and
supernatural beliefs that can’t be observed or tested through empirical research. The
thesis of this paper is that the secularizing of Buddhism is stripping away from the roots
of traditional Buddhism thus the practice of secular Buddhism cannot be seen as
practicing Buddhists as they aren’t taking all of its teachings into account.
Buddhism is a religion that is more than 2500 years old and at its core is the belief
in the Four Noble Truths. Which were founded by Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha, these
four truths are The Truth of Suffering, The Truth of the Cause of Suffering, The Truth of
the End of Suffering, and The Truth of the Path that Leads to the End of Suffering.
Buddhist’s main goal is to reach a state of nirvana which is a place of perfect peace and
happiness, like heaven. In Buddhism, nirvana is the highest state that someone can attain.
It's a state of enlightenment thus all of a person's individual desires and suffering go
away. In Buddhism the way of trying to attain Nirvana is through rightness of belief,
resolve, speech, action, livelihood, effort, thought, and meditation which are all known as
the Eightfold path.
Secular Buddhism is based on humanist, skeptical, and agnostic values rather than
religious beliefs. It treats Buddhism as an philosophy, rather than a religion. Secular
Buddhism emphasizes a practice that encourages individual autonomy and believes that
in matters of “awakening” and “enlightenment” there is no one true way of getting there.
They differentiate from traditional Buddhism because of their implementation of science
inside the Buddhism religion, So secular Buddhism do not believe any of the Buddhist
teachings which cannot be proven scientifically of existing. Which is why some don’t
believe in an atman or nirvana and their are also some who even don’t believe in the
Buddha. To define secular Buddhism is very difficult for people because of how broad it
is as it gives you an open mind on how you want to perceive secular Buddhism and what
you chose to believe and follow.
The issue i have against the secularating of Buddhism is that it takes away from
the teaching of the Buddha. Buddhism being a very old and historical religion it isn’t that
surprising that it's been evolving throughout the years and in modern times secular
Buddhism has risen as people have now started to mix religion and science together. I
believe if a person only accepts half of a religions ideology then they cannot be
considered a part of that religion. Secular Buddhists beliefs vary from person to person
but none of them believe in all of buddh...