Yeh, Buddhism has got to be very complicated, hasn't it ? It's not. It's just mind trained people following the philosophy of a dead guy. Anyway, those guys in Thailand who wear orange robes, ceremoniously cut their heads open, and bleed in public, just want to rip off tourists.I met a Buddhist recently and she won't communicate with me now. She thinks she possesses wisdom but she just can't think for herself. Rather judgemental too.
Every religion creates a frenzied beliefs. There is no exception.
I personally take Buddhism as a philosophy and believe that Siddhartha was an Atheist.There are different sects in Buddhism and there are many who consider it as a religion and any religion is crap,its an intrinsic property of a religion to be irrational.People have this tendency of making god out of anything and then start a religion from it.So what I feel here is you cannot generalize the experience you've been through.Though there maybe very few left in that camp who actually don't take it as a religion,it's people who are to be blamed.If they say that Buddhism is a religion,then it is to be taken as evil other wise I find no problem with Buddhism.
I see your point, Jeremy.
Christopher Hitchens points-out why Buddism is also evil in the talk: christopher hitchens amazing meeting 2009
He said everyone blamed the other religions for the Tsunami in Sir-Lanka. “The worst of the lot were the Buddhists. The Buddhists said ‘Of course we knew this would happen because at Christmas, just the other day, the Christians were eating meat and drinking alcohol, and if this didn’t bring it on, we don’t know what does.’ And, furthermore, there’s a photograph of this woman pointing to the Buddha head on her gate, saying ‘the Lord Buddha was on my gate. He wasn’t on the Christian gate, or on the Muslim family’s gate. They’ve all gone, and I’m still here.’ I mention it because a lot of people think ‘well, some of these religions are not as bad as the others. That’s contemplative, they’re eastern. They’re friendly. They’re furry. NO THEY’RE NOT!
Why don’t you try and look at a book called ‘Zen at war’ which shows the Japanese Imperialists and it’s military arm used Zen Buddhism as it’s training manual. The ideal soldier was a Zen spear. Erect, the mind at rest, the body all ready for action, waiting for orders, contemptuous of the mind. Contemptuous of reflection. Contemptuous of the intellect. The perfect Fascist robot who would die for a God King.
Well, people say ‘well shurly the Dali-Lama’s a furry figure.’ Oh ya? He said he was born a God and born a King. And we have to begin with that proposition, before we can understand how safrin he is. And, who has also published a manual on bedroom strategy. and with what you may do with whom and at what time in the sanctum of your bed. Always a bad sign. That and the dietary regulations, I find. All of these religions are the same.
They will represent the surrender of the mind, of the only thing that distinguishes us from the round worms, and other creatures, who are also in our DNA string. And they try to snuff-out and blow-out the poor candle of reason which is the only light that we have.
I can understand you all and your feelings.My point is,if you take Buddhism as a teaching then what's wrong in accepting it?If people misuse it for their own selfish wants should we consider it as evil?I don't think Siddhartha(Buddha) ever said to make a religion out of his teachings.So it all depends how you consider the word 'Buddhism'.If you take it as a teaching then I don't see why it should not be accepted because I feel it contains more insights.I think it would be more clear if we dismiss the word Buddhism and just call it as teachings of Siddhartha which is of course subject to reasoning and correction which Siddhartha himself encourages.It's just like accepting Dawkins' insights and reasoning on Truth and appreciating him for that.
Atheists have their own thinking and need not take Buddhism for learning. All religioous ideas are outdated. Modern values like freethinking, humanism are enough to provide us with a philosophy of life. There is absolutely no need to look back 2500 years.
All religious ideas are outdated. God, Saturn, Heaven, Hell, Next Births, soul, Ghost, Spirit,are all imaginary. All these things cannot be proved scientifically. People see the sky, when they think of God, as if God is above us. Why he is having legs when he is dwelling in the sky?
Siddhartha specifically told his followers *not* to worship him as a god, and look how that turned out... I don't think Buddhism should necessarily be "accepted" (On face value? Based on what?) but some of the philosophical points have their merits.
Then again, many other religions also have a few good points buried within their piles of hogwash. It's just that Buddhism seems to have more of a philosophical grounding than some others. Buddhism as a philosophy might be okay, but as a religion it's still as bad as any other.
There are a lot of different Buddhist traditions, and among them everyone has their own interpretations... just like Christians. It's not very rational to judge Buddhism based on a conversation with one Buddhist family, or even a dozen Buddhist families. You should check out a Buddhist forum sometime and see just how varied their beliefs can be, even among the same sect. One such forum that's meant for newcomers to all forms of Buddhism is NewBuddhist.com.
If you're actually looking to learn about the most atheistic type (or interpretation) of Buddhism you can get, check out the books written by Stephen Batchelor, "Buddhism Without Beliefs" and "Alone With Others".
Or if you just want to get to the heart of the matter, of what "enlightenment" is actually all about, without it even being in a religious context... check out Eckhart Tolle (e.g. "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth").
Finally if you have general questions about Buddhism, you can message me and I'll do my best to answer them. I don't consider myself a Buddhist (more a Humanist/Skeptic), but I was a moderator on that forum for a couple of years, and have spent plenty of time studying the subject.
I think it's important also to make the distinction between a "Buddhist" and a "Buddha." You see, Buddhists are merely aspiring Buddhas, so they still retain the prejudices, the misconceptions of their religion and so forth as any other religious member does of any other religion. In other words, the entire goal of Buddhism is to have this experience of "nirvana" or "samadhi," etc. which is basically the insight, you know. And until that person has had this insight, they are not "Buddhas." So, it's important to understand that you're speaking to people who are still, in a certain sense, "seekers" within their own religion and do not fully comprehend it, because if they did, then they wouldn't be Buddhists, but Buddhas.
A lot of the more reasonable Buddhists I've met were only marginally Buddhist, or "culturally Buddhist". Like secular Judaism, you know? As with any religion, the more fervent the believers, the more likely they are to be crazy.
I did a post on this a while ago, which you might find of interest: