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Improving Buddhism

Is it Possible?

Blog posts : "General"

Improved Buddhism's Behavioral Code and Deception

Two of the things which a religion can still give to individuals in the twenty-first century are a behavioral code and a set of goals. To try and understand the details of how the first one might work, consider one activity which is usually considered deplorable, except by those who do it profession…

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The Waning of Religious Influence

The Tretyakov Museum in Moscow recently hosted an exhibition of the paintings of V. V. Vereshchagin, who concentrated on painting portraits and scenes from India and Central Asia during the last half of the nineteenth century. The paintings are very realistic, and convey more than just the details o…

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Funding Improved Buddhism

Someone is going to have to pay for any new religion. The money has to come from donations, at least initially. A religion might be endowed by donors, and then support itself from earnings from the endowment, but that simply moves the funding problem into the startup period of the religion. In gener…

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Philosophy Underlying Improved Buddhism

Buddhism in its original form is sometimes referred to as a philosophy rather than a religion, as it has no gods. It does have some legacy spiritism, with reincarnation being the main element used to drive individuals to follow the guidelines for life it provides, and the sutras have mention of the …

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Improving Buddha’s Eight-fold Way

Religions tell people what to do. Not as much as a boss tells his employees what to do or a military leader tells his troops what to do or a parent tells his children what to do, but in a more general way. It takes too many man-hours to d…

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Means and Ends in Religious Education

What good is a religion which does not have any supernatural assertions in it? If a religion, improved or not, teaches or assumes that there is no reincarnation or any substitute for it, what is left for it to do? One feature remaining is religious…

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Nihilism

Nihilism, in short, is a small branch of philosophy that consists of saying life has no meaning or purpose. It is connected with the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who used the phrase “god is dead” in the sense that at his time, the nineteent…

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Long-term Goals of a Religion

The title can have two interpretations. One is to continue asking about the motives and hopes that a designer of a new religion might have, and the other is to ask what missions should be put into the teaching of a religion that are more than immed…

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Buddha as the Designer of a Religion

One way to look at a religion is to look at its beliefs, or its behavioral guidelines, or its structure, or its facilities, or its members, or many other aspects. One way that does not seem to be very common is to ask what was the founder or fo…

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The Meaning or Purpose of Life

Philosophers have been discussing their versions of the purpose of life for as long as philosophy has been recorded. Almost all of them grew up in an environment of beliefs in magical creatures, and while any particular philosopher might have a…

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What is a Religion?

If we are trying to offer improvements to an existing religion, it would be good to know what the limits are. If there is to be a suggestion for removal of some concepts, does that push what is remaining beyond the bounds, leaving what is left …

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Goals and Improved Buddhism

Let’s clearly define what is meant by goals. When the founder of a new religion puts the time in to record or spread his teaching, he is doing it for some personal goal. It could be benevolent or malevolent, rational or irrational, selfish or altru…

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Improved Buddhism and Governance

There are many ways that a religion can interact with a governing body. One way is simply tolerance, where the governing organizations put no restrictions on what a religion group does. This, of course, is impossible in some situations, as competin…

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Anatta and Karma

 

Buddha was raised in a time of conflicts in metaphysics. Some Hindu philosophers preached the doctrine of reincarnation, which meant that there was some essence that moved from body to body when the first one died and a new one was born or co…

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The Utility of Reincarnation

Reincarnation wouldn’t be a popular concept within Buddhism unless it provided some utility. As a matter of fact, it provides utility in multiple ways. Replacing it with something more acceptable to rational people in some scheme of improved Buddhism …

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Reviewing Reincarnation

By a stroke of luck, shortly after the previous post on Reincarnation and Science was published, another blogger, John Michael Greer, an official in the Druidic Religion, posted an article on druidic views of reincarnation. There are similarities between that and Buddhist ones, so that text might be…

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Types of Buddhists

Buddhist is a bit of a suitcase word today, containing many different things within it. The label is used for people with widely disparate reasons for calling themselves Buddhists, and moreover, widely different practices. This does not refer s…

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Nirvana and Psychology

Nirvana in Buddhism is the state of nothingness, either non-existence or simply bliss. For an essence to be in nirvana, they have nothing left of their identity, no desires, no events, no change. Is this something that should be in an improved Buddhism, should not be, or only in a modified state?

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