Questions tagged [philosophy]

The study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language. It can also be a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Buddhism and the middle path

I am battling with understanding the concept of the middle path. Having read the many articles available, the concept escapes me especially with a view of self and no-self. My understanding is that ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

If there is no self what or who is it that gets enlightened?

From reading this answer I come to understand that anatta means the lack of a core that can be conceived as self. If there is no permanent self, then who or what gets enlightened?
11
votes
8answers
7k views

What is the difference between relative and absolute truth in Buddhist philosophy?

Many Buddhist texts and teachings make a distinction between absolute and relative truth. Please explain the difference and give some examples.
18
votes
22answers
11k views

Why is Buddhism not Nihilism?

I'm familiar with the concept of the middle way and how Buddhism is neither Eternalism nor Nihilism. Not being Eternalism seems straightforward to me - all things are impermanent. However Buddhism not ...
12
votes
10answers
4k views

How to combine Buddhism with being a parent?

Buddhist philosophy says that we shouldn't get attached and try to form bonds with something and desire or crave it because everything is essentially impermanent and this will lead to suffering. But ...
2
votes
4answers
486 views

What is the difference between moha (delusion) and avijja (ignorance)?

What is moha (delusion)? What is avijja or avidya (ignorance)? What is the difference between moha (delusion) and avijja or avidya (ignorance)?
1
vote
4answers
192 views

Does MN9 imply a cyclic causation? How does it work?

The Nanamoli and Bodhi translation of MN9 states in 2 excerpts: With the arising of the taints there is the arising of ignorance. With the cessation of the taints there is the cessation of ...
0
votes
2answers
146 views

Is luminous mind unconditioned and not impermanent?

In AN1.51-52, we find a description of the luminous mind. The Pali version can be found here. The description in 51-52 implies that it is pre-existing. It's just that the ordinary worldling doesn't ...
-1
votes
3answers
555 views

How can Buddhist believe in Re-Incarnation, when they do not believe in soul? [duplicate]

Part 1: I was studying some of the Buddha's teaching, when I encountered this notion that Buddhism does not recognize 'Atman' or soul. Buddha did not believe in notion of 'Self'; He did not believe ...
33
votes
7answers
8k views

If a buddhist should not kill a mouse living in their home, what justification do they have to rid themselves of a parasite such tapeworms

An extension of this question posted earlier: How not to kill the mouse in my house? Where does one draw the line for which forms of life are ok to destroy, and which ones are not? Is it just a ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it possible to become UNenlightened?

Is it possible for i.e. an Arhat to become unenlightened after he reached the state of Nirvana? What if an enlightened being gets a severe brain injury by some cause leaving him with amnesia. Could ...
14
votes
12answers
3k views

What determines whether actions are good or bad?

In a large number of religions, 'good' and 'bad' are defined by some all-powerful diety who either sends a representative or himself to tell us about what exactly they want us mortals to do. In ...
10
votes
4answers
258 views

Are there any alternative formulations of the five skandas?

Considering the 5 skandas of Form Feeling Perception Volition Consciousness I was told during a study group once that this was only one of many possible formulations of the skandas and other ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there different types of emptiness (Śūnyatā)?

Even though emptiness (Śūnyatā) seems like it should just be one thing (concept/experinece/realisation) does it in fact have different types? Can it be categorised in any way? I know Buddhism is very ...
4
votes
9answers
1k views

Is it true that Physics confirms some of the Buddha's teachings?

I've heard it said that some observations in modern Physics effectively confirm some of the things the Buddha taught. Is that true? If so, could someone provide some examples?
14
votes
16answers
2k views

Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy?

A claim which is often heard in connection with Buddhism is that it is not a religion. From a scientific point of view, is it a religion, or is it not?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is tathata?

Tathata has been described as the ultimate goal of Buddhism. What is tathata? What is the closest thing we experience in everyday life close to tathata? How can we attain knowledge of tathata?
2
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the different between Yogacara Buddhism and Idealism?

I've often heard the Yogacara school of Buddhism being described as 'Mind Only'. To my untutored mind this seems reminiscent of the western philosophy of Idealism. So there is a description of ...
3
votes
3answers
735 views

Emptiness in Theravada and Mahayana

What is the difference between the concept of emptiness (Śūnyatā in Sanskrit, or suññatā in Pali) in the Theravada tradition and the concept of emptiness in the Mahayana tradition? From my basic ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

What exactly is svabhava?

What exactly is svabhāva in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka? It is translated as inherent nature or inherent existence or inherent substance. But what does that really mean? Does it carry the same meaning as ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

What is yoniso manasikara and ayoniso manasikara?

As suggested in this answer, it is a good idea to investigate this further. What is wise reflection (yoniso manasikāra) and unwise reflection (ayoniso manasikāra)? Yoniso manasikāra is also ...
1
vote
3answers
153 views

Does Nirvana have svabhava in Madhyamaka?

As suggested in this comment, we shall try to look more closely into this. Does Nirvana have svabhāva in Madhyamaka? Here, svabhāva is as defined in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka, and commonly translated ...
16
votes
10answers
10k views

What is the meaning and/or purpose of life?

According to Buddhism, if exists, what is the meaning of life, and if different, what is the purpose of life? And where does this meaning and purpose come from?
12
votes
6answers
8k views

Relationship between Buddhism, Hinduism and Yoga?

All these 3 philosophy/religions are born across Tibet/Nepal/India and they all share numerous concept and practice. Some points of connections could be: Noble Eightfold Path are very similar to ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What's Buddhism view on choice, choicelesness and causality?

You see, there is only one constant, one universal, it is the only real truth: causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect. (...) Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What is storehouse consciousness?

I've been reading Peter Harvey's Introduction the Buddhism and I've come across the concept of storehouse consciousness. It's in relation to Yogācāra and Chan Buddhism - originally with Yogācāra. It ...
15
votes
6answers
925 views

How compatible are the beliefs of atheists and Buddhism?

I looked around and found a couple of questions and answers on the site that discuss atheism in Buddhism, What is the difference between learning the Buddhist way and simply learning from life? & ...
12
votes
2answers
645 views

Relation to Jainism

I've read that Jainism is one of the oldest Indian traditions, that Buddhism somewhat derived from it and that at some time they rivaled (I'm not sure if this was a political thing). Can you explain ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

What does Buddhism literature and tradition say about transgender folks?

This may seem like a question that is far too modern for an ancient tradition, but when I traveled in Thailand I learned that katoeys (male-to-female) are a legal gender in Thailand. What does ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Do Buddhists believe in gods?

As far as I know, many Buddhists believe in multiple gods. Doesn't this contradict the idea that the world is governed by the law of karma? Is praying to gods allowed?
8
votes
4answers
444 views

Was the doctrine of 'Anatta', accepted as doctrine by modern Buddhism, actually taught by the Buddha?

Understanding of 'Anatta' is key to so much Buddhist meditation practice and philosophy that I've been exposed to but (call me conservative) I gain great confidence when the Buddha himself had ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Buddhism on We are all one

As explained here Buddhism does no belong into pantheism because God can be interpreted no as oneness but a creation of the mind as the fourth aggregate explains (eg. "an invisible man who lives in ...
6
votes
4answers
495 views

What is attachment as per Buddhism?

Is attachment some kind of love? Parental love, a smile that comes when we get a glance of a toddler, when we spent money on good for our beloved one's then that time what is it? As per my perception ...
5
votes
3answers
731 views

How can killing of Muslims by Buddhists in Myanmar be justified? [duplicate]

Considering whatever atrocities Muslims did (I don't know if they did any) or are going to do, is killing Muslims the only solution the Myanmar Buddhists could adopt? Is it wise? Is violence ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Buddhist view on out of body experience (OBE)

Wikipedia defines this as, An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside one's body and, in some cases, perceiving ...
2
votes
9answers
709 views

How to accept things as-is and live according to as-is?

In the search for meaning and purpose of life, it seems that Buddhism is silent on this issue that many modern people are concerned with. The way to reconcile seems to be "accept things as it is". ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Is there evidence of a Buddhist influence on Greek Stoicism?

Stoic philosophy seems to share a lot with Buddhist wisdom. Since Zeno of Citium (generally credited as the founder of Stoicism) is said to have lived a couple hundred years after Siddhartha Gautama, ...
5
votes
4answers
504 views

Is there common ground between the Tao Te Ching and Buddhism?

I am interested in Buddhism and the book Tao Te Ching, written by Lao-Tzu in c. 600 BC. Is there common ground between these two Eastern philosophies? link to audio of Tao Te Ching
4
votes
3answers
378 views

Do Cittamatra / Yogacara explicitly refute the existence of an external world?

Tibetan texts that belong to the genre of tenets (doctrinal classification) usually claim that the Cittamatra school refutes external existence. These texts further claim that Cittamatrin posit that '...
3
votes
3answers
126 views

Awakened Great Zen Master Seung Sahn - is it possible he lost the state of Nibbana?

From my understanding of awakening (and also according to answers here like Is it possible to become UNenlightened?), it is an irreversible process. It makes sense in theory as, once one awakens, ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

What are false unchanging entities?

I am having trouble with the concept of "unchanging entities which exist on their own". Attachment to the false view of self means belief in the presence of unchanging entities which exist on their ...
3
votes
3answers
324 views

How to stop comparing oneself with others?

I'm wondering how Buddhism deals with the comparison of oneself with others, and I'm specifically thinking in terms of accomplishments. For example, I have usually had some success in art fields in my ...
2
votes
3answers
187 views

Difference between desire (chanda) and craving (tanha)?

What's the difference between desire (chanda) and craving (tanha)? From my understanding, tanha is always unwholesome but chanda can be wholesome or unwholesome. How is this the case? Craving (tanha)...
1
vote
6answers
234 views

Cessation of suffering is the main goal of Buddhism, but is cessation of suffering the end goal or does Buddhism pursue Joy beyond end of suffering?

I ask the above because Socrates in the Republic has proven that the cessation of suffering is a quietude of the mind, an illusion or a jugglery not real. What we should we aim according to him is not ...
5
votes
13answers
5k views

How compatible are Buddhism and Communism?

Despite communism as practiced (as opposed to what Marx might have had in mind) being the source of some of the largest slaughter of lay and monastic Buddhists ever (except maybe the Imperial Chinese)....
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Hypocrisy of Buddhism

Aren't Buddhists (with Buddhist I refer to an ideal Buddhist or Buddhists monk) actually not doing enough to prevent harm in this world? So, Buddhists don't have any attachment to things and work ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How to not slip into Nihilism from Vipassana?

I am sensing this disenchantment from letting go. Meditating on impermanence feels like nihilism to me. There is a fleeting moment of joy from the liberation and just watching emotions go by. And I ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

What are the Four Noble Truths?

What are they? Where are they found in the literature? Are there any significant differences in them among the traditions?
7
votes
3answers
445 views

Insight in Buddhism

What is "insight" the "knowing that I know" in Buddhism? I understand the concept of consciousness a bit better but what about having Insight.
7
votes
3answers
671 views

What are the main arguments in favor of the Anātman view over the Ātman view?

The main difference (I know) between Buddhism and Hinduism is that the first defends Anātman theory whereas the second defends Ātman theory. What are the main arguments in favor of the Anātman ...