There are lot of wrong views in other religions but there are even some Buddhist who have wrong views. They don’t believe in rebirth and karma. And they say that they are metaphors. They seems to be clinging to the annihilationist view. According to MN 117 and other suttas, right view is believing that there is the fruits of good and bad karma and this is this world and the next world. The next world is where you will go according to your karma after death.

"Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view.

"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has effluents, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions.

How do we help them abandon wrong views? If the Buddha was still alive then he could perform some miracles to show that there are more than just what we see with the eye.

  • Why do you want to help them abandon "wrong views"? If the person doesn't want to abandon their view, then there is nothing you can do to make them abandon it, all you can do is explain your own view.
    – user29568
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 17:32
  • Since they are practicing Buddhism, wouldn’t it be a waste if they didn’t achieve any thing and at the break up of the body they go to an animal womb or hell.
    – user14213
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 17:33
  • 1
    The world isn't only Buddhist, there are parts of this world that have never heard of Buddhism, they believe in different ideas. Their culture and existence has survived for many years, without being hurt by ideas of "hell." You must also realize that even in Buddhism there are different opinions, different schools - just like any other idea. The best you can do is just make people see the present, not fear some uncertain future. If they are suffering right now and want help, help them. Sometimes that help means you have to go beyond Buddhism to explain things that they can understand.
    – user29568
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 17:39
  • You are not alone. I want to stop people with wrong views from spreading wrong views to those who are new to Buddhism
    – user14213
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 21:43
  • 1
    @Angus No, the Buddha didn't chase after people and try to convince them of his beliefs. People came to him, there is a big difference.The purpose isn't to change their mind, but just to show them.
    – user29568
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 23:56

5 Answers 5


Before proceeding further, we should note that miracles should not play any role in convincing intelligent and rational people. Devadatta, the monk who tried to injure the Buddha and cause a schism in the monastic order, was reportedly able to perform miraculous feats. Buddhism does not teach that miracles are any kind of proof of correctness or enlightenment.

When you see people around you, you may think some of them hold wrong views and some of them hold right views, and you want to help them.

Of the people whom you think hold wrong views, I think we should separate them into two categories.

The first category are people who act in obviously unvirtuous ways, causing harm to themselves and others. For e.g. people who kill sentient beings, intentionally harm others, steal from others, deceive others etc. These are people who need urgent help, both for their own benefit and for the benefit of society.

If these people are close to you, like your friends or family members, you can try to help them. After all, sharing of Dhamma (the teachings of the Buddha) is considered the greatest type of sharing according to Itivuttaka 100.

You could gently influence them to think in this way (according to AN 5.57):

“And for the sake of what benefit should a woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, often reflect thus: ‘I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do’? People engage in misconduct by body, speech, and mind. But when one often reflects upon this theme, such misconduct is either completely abandoned or diminished. It is for the sake of this benefit that a woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do.’

The second category would be those who you think do not understand the teachings of the Buddha, as well as you do. I think we should tread carefully on this, because it might lead to some Buddhists pointing fingers at other Buddhists, creating a culture of accusing others of heresy and having hostile debates, as we have seen even right here on Buddhism.SE.

According to MN 28, to understand dependent origination, is to understand the Dhamma fully. Also see this answer.

According to DN 15:

There Ven. Ananda approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "It's amazing, lord, it's astounding, how deep this dependent co-arising is, and how deep its appearance, and yet to me it seems as clear as clear can be."

[The Buddha:] "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.

Dependent origination or dependent co-arising is not a simple topic and many people who think they understand it, may not fully understand it. Without understanding dependent origination completely, it may not be possible to have complete and unblemished Right View.

But to gain a complete understanding of dependent origination and the Dhamma is a long journey that involves studying the Dhamma, practising the Dhamma and gaining insight into the nature of things. An afternoon of reading or discussion may not be sufficient.

With regards to the topic of rebirth, you can direct others to read the essays "The Truth of Rebirth: And Why it Matters for Buddhist Practice" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and "Rebirth" and "Does Rebirth Make Sense?" by Bhikkhu Bodhi. I think they are clear enough. Also this answer on Buddhism.SE is pretty concise and accurate.


Buddhism can be practiced as a skillful method based on personal experience and accepting what works for you in your individual situation. Remember, the Buddha said in the Kalama Sutra:

Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing (anussava),

nor upon tradition (paramparā), nor upon rumor (itikirā),

nor upon what is in a scripture (piṭaka-sampadāna)

nor upon surmise (takka-hetu),

nor upon an axiom (naya-hetu)

nor upon specious reasoning (ākāra-parivitakka),

nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over (diṭṭhi-nijjhān-akkh-antiyā),

nor upon > another's seeming ability (bhabba-rūpatāya),

nor upon the consideration, The monk is our teacher (samaṇo no garū)

Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness," enter on and abide in them.

Holding to scripture just because it is scripture and judging other people's experience or chosen path of the Dharma can therefore also be considered wrong view, or at least an attachment to the desire to have other practitioners adapt a particular view.

The belief in reincarnation is not central or essential to Buddhist practice for many lineages and many individual practitioners. In fact, from a socio-historical perspective it is clear it was derived from the Hindu cosmology, the predominant world view in the period of the Buddha's life. I'm not stating this fact to diminish the significance it can have to individual practitioners, but merely as a reason why for many people reincarnation does not fall into the category of "these things lead to benefit and happiness".

Karmic cause and effect in many lineages is therefore not seen as something that is primarily manifesting after death: it can be immediate or within a human lifespan. This view makes the need for feeling compassion and performing Right Acts immediate.

As for the miracles you mentioned: many lineages see the Buddha as an ordinary human being, who discovered a skillful method just by being an ordinary human being, without supernatural attributes. So again, for many practitioners miracles do not necessarily fall into the category of "these things lead to benefit and happiness", because if miracles were necessary to bring someone to the "right" view, it would mean we cannot experience the mind of a Buddha just by ourselves. We would be subject to supernatural intervention. Many lineages therefore hold the view that the mind of a Buddha can be experienced right here and now.

  • I disagree but respect your opinion
    – user14213
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 21:42

It depends on the situation -- I'm not sure that you can plan it in advance.

Lord, when wise nobles or brahmans, householders or contemplatives, having formulated questions, come to the Tathagata and ask him, does this line of reasoning appear to his awareness beforehand — 'If those who approach me ask this, I — thus asked — will answer in this way' — or does the Tathagata come up with the answer on the spot?"

Abhaya Sutta (MN 58)

I realise that sutta appears to give permission to say things that are "unendearing & disagreeable to others" but I think that in practice there are limits to that:

  • For example the sutta says "the Tathagata [] has a sense of the proper time for saying them", which doesn't (in my opinion) necessarily mean that we are all as wise as that.

    Perhaps too it implies that the appropriate time is "when they ask him".

  • I think the Dhammapada's verse 129 ...

    1. All are afraid of the stick, all fear death. Putting oneself in another's place, one should not beat or kill others.

    ... can be extended to speech -- I say that because the suttas describe sectarian arguments as people trying to "wound with weapons of the mouth" -- and so for example I'd extend verse 129 to, also, "Don't say something that you wouldn't want to hear if you were in their situation."

    And so, for example, I think that good advice may be welcome ... except that "negative criticism" (as opposed to e.g. "constructive criticism") may be (at best) ineffective.

I think that the suttas say that a main cause of sectarian arguments is conceit (a subtle or transient form of self-regard, manifesting as comparing people) and maybe attaching to views.

Assuming it's true that the Dhamma is intended to end suffering, then perhaps we "help people" by addressing their suffering. Are they suffering? How (if at all) does what we say help them to end that? Incidentally, when I asked How to explain what Buddhism is? one of the answers suggested that if a person is (however temporarily) not suffering then perhaps we should feel mudita towards them (rather than, necessarily, criticising them).

I think it's probably important too to be good at listening to people (or, in a written medium, reading what they write). I think that a lot of arguments (perhaps most arguments) happen because the people involved are talking about different things, not talking about the same thing. In the OP for example you say, "don’t believe in rebirth and karma" which may be an example of your not listening to what they're saying -- for example perhaps they do believe in "karma" although not in "rebirth" -- specifically, believe that people inherit their own karma, but not that people are reborn. Perhaps this (listening) is related to what some people call "beginner's mind".

Finally, on this SE site in particular you're not required to correct people who (or to correct answer which) you may disagree with -- see for example Are we here to preach and make converts? also Answers vs Advice and so on. Answer any questions as best you can, ultimately every reader has to "know for themselves".

Also this site limits the form of what's permitted (e.g. limited comments and see also the Code of Conduct)


How does one come seriously to the idea having right view by oneself? eg. firm refuge, unspoted virtue, lack of the five kinds of stinginess and proper gratitude?

That might answer how and whom to help fist for those with sacca starting toward themselves. "Am I able to close the door from outside, leaving all kinds of keys inside?" "Do I still have doubt about the direction?" "Or do I just entertain my impure stand to wander on?".

If so, but and also to understand the foremost need for any gain one may take a view on How to address wrong view, an extend answer on this very importand question, and the first blessing toward the path: "Not assisting with fools, in association with the wise, this is the highest blessing/protection". Touch alone, without giving strongly to it, is not sufficient enough. At least one has to dwell in borderlands and leave house to ever gain right view.

Upasaka Ryan was wise and quickly proceed toward higher path and fruits. One has to disapprove wrong view and if dwelling in association with people of wrong view, there is as good as no change for a wordling to be ever successful. What ever gained intellectual will be weakened and get lost by time as well, so confidence, virtue, concentration...

(People at large this days would not be impressed by miracles at all, cut such down to their small mind rationalisation, like an ant would not be impressed by being touched by a human, so no use for that at all)

[Note: this is a gift of Dhamma, not thought for trade, stakes, exchanges or other gains subject toward decay and should be deleted if it's not giften to give in Dhammic conditions]


How do we help people with wrong view? This is very difficult due to their clinging to the (animal survival) self instinct. However, we can begin as follows:

  1. Define the Dhamma Refuge to them, which is: "seen here & now, immediate, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the observant for themselves".

  2. Explain the "annihilationist view" to them, which is believing a "self" ("atta") ends at the ending of life, as follows:

... since this self, good sir, is annihilated and destroyed with the breakup of the body and does not exist after death, at this point the self is completely annihilated.' In this way some proclaim the annihilation, destruction, and extermination of an existent being." (DN 1)

  1. Explain the Pali language to them, such as: "paraloka" means "other world" rather than "next word"; the "world" arises within these five aggregates (AN 4.45); "opapatika" means "spontaneously arisen" rather than "reborn"; a "being" is a "view" and "verbal designation" (SN 5.10, MN 98, SN 23.2).

  2. Explain to them an "asava" is a "dirty filthy pollution" and an "acquisition" is "slavery & bondage" and, even though MN 117 refers to a "right view" for "puthujanna" that sides with "merit"; this worldly right view is dirty, filthy, polluting, enslaving bondage that does not lead to liberation and is not a factor of the Noble Path.

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