Do you view all religions as being equally bad/dangerous/stupid or is Christainity the main culprit? I think I know what the answer will be as this is a predominantly western website but I am prepared to be surprised.
Buddhism may have started off as a peaceful religion, but that is no longer the case in countries like Sri Lanka and Burma.
The politically influential Sri Lankan Buddhist clergy has historically led the way in the ongoing persecution of the Tamil minority in that state.
The same is true in Burma. We all remember the courage of the monks who led a peaceful march against the Burmese government but in 2001 Buddhist monks also led the anti-Muslim riots killing many innocent civilians in retaliation for the Taliban's destruction of the statues in Afghanistan. The military junta of Burma also uses an amalgamation of Socialism and Buddhism in their crazy 'Burmese way to socialism".
Not equally bad. Islam is the worse. Reason behind that is level of interference it has in human life. Espacially for women as it makes their life a hell on earth if practiced in true spirit. It goes as for as it stops a person to grieve on his loved ones death and accept it as will of god. It clearly declares children above seven punishable if they are unable to visit mosque 5 times a day. It makes a woman hell worthey if she disagrees or disobeys her husband....
Critics of islam often raise issues concerning history, mythology, prophits pesonality etc. Real black face of it comes to light when we study its impacts on daily lives. It makes a person life a Living Hell.
Hinduism is as bad or worse than the Abrahamic religions. Bad and dangerous involve different criteria than stupid. And danger is not just an artifact of a religion, but of the institutions and people who undergird their practice.
I think Zen Buddhism and some of the Advaita branches of Hinduism are different because they encourage skepticism. They don't have any core beliefs, but rather tend to cultivate an active curiosity, an attitude of " I know, but how do I know?" and " what exactly do I mean by 'I'?"
I disagree Ashish. Saying that one religion is less inherently violent, less harmful or less bigoted (and therefore "better") doesn't mean that religion is true. For example, I think Zen Buddhism is a "better" religion that Christianity in that it doesn't teach bigotry, misogyny and hate as values. That doesn't make it any less ridiculous and irrational.
Well, Japanese Zen Buddhists supported Japanese fascism, and there's no reason to think that Zen Buddhism is any less authoritarian than any other mystical, esoteric, or religious ideology. Oriental religions and mystical practices have always been re-tailored to appeal to western audiences, with distorting their original meaning and function in the process.
The thing is that buddhism is, at its core, a non-theistic religion. Certainly the Buddha never taught anything about religion and in one famous parable compared people obsessed with metaphysics over getting your life right now in order to a man shot by a poisonous arrow who refused treatment until he knew the full story of who shot him and why. Any supernatural elements in buddhism are largely the result of it blending with various folk religions as it moved east and spread out from India.
Similarly, taoism is very non-theistic. To compare the Tao to God, or a god in general, would be wrong; an extremely gross simplification at best. Certainly it (and buddhism to an extent) are transcendant philosophies, but they are not even in the same ballpark as hinduism or the abrahamic religions.
I'm glad that Dumain brought up the geological environmental factors that contribute to religions and I am dismayed I forgot to mention them myself.
While it's entirely possible for a person living in japan to practice the same buddhism as someone in America, it is highly unlikely that a person with centuries of family and culture traditions would be adhering in the same way a newly converted person would.
I still find Buddists and Jains not as bad as Abrahamic religions, but we missed a vital point and didn't discuss what we meant by "bad".
Bad to me is when a set of rules or doctrines is mentally or physically abusive to those who adhere to its practices. So far as I've read about some of the ancient eastern religions they don't damage the individuals mind or body.
While they may not permit the freedom we have as being free thinkers, they don't recommend or allow violent acts against life.
So to me, those 2 religions including most of the ways they are practice and wherever they are practiced, are not as bad as most of religions we have in America.
And a final point to remind myself and everyone else that "bad" is arbitrary and has no universal meaning. I hope that every human could agree,however, that no life should be taken needlessly without cause or reason.
Gotta disagree. Skeptism toward the Bible doesn't fit WITH the Bible. And the Bible can be used to found any kind of cult you can imagine. In my family there are nice "moderate evangelicals" (???) and there was a cult leader and several cult followers (including me). The book is filled with conflicting messages, so anyone can take what they want from it. Shall I take an eye for an eye, or turn the other cheek? Once we give one group the okay to use this book for a moral code, the others will have that same justification, even when they select the most evil lessons for their code.