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.

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Do Buddhists believe Buddha to be God? Do Buddhists practice idolatry?

I have seen Buddhists worship Gautam Buddha, a great personality, a great philosopher, a great social reformer and spiritual master, with incense and candles. They would offer flower to his idol made ...
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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 ...
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What is intellect-consciousness and why is it different from intellect itself?

In SN 35.93 quoted below, it reads intellect-consciousness arises in dependence on the intellect and ideas, but if this consciousness is also a thinking about the work of intellect on ideas then it in ...
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Why is fasting allowed in Buddhism?

One of the answers to this question 'Is there a tradition or practice involving fasting in Buddhism or Buddhist countries?' says that fasting is followed by Tibetan Buddhists. Why is fasting allowed ...
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When saying that the aggregate is not-self are we not predicting the existence of a thing called self?

Parmenides, a presocratic philosopher, said: The only roads of inquiry there are to think of: one, that it is and that it is not possible for it not to be, this is the path of persuasion (for ...
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Does it matter if the mind is neurologically originated or not?

For example, in this answer, we find Buddhists insisting that the mind is not a "byproduct" of the brain, i.e. the mind does not arise neurologically in the brain. By neurology, I mean that according ...
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Is it fair to say that Buddhism employ misology?

The question is straightforward as it read, but to elaborate I will give some examples. I think most people will agree that reason is what is special about human beings, and most religions and ...
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369 views

Why the nature of things is such as it is?

Namaste. My question is Why the nature of things is such as it is? I think that the question cannot be answered, because it points outside the grasp of our mind, but I am interested in possible ...
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What is beyond the realm of Gods.

After have studied Hinduism, and more modern reality creation referring to concepts such as higher vibrations, higher realms that exists beyond our material, such as the astral or heavenly. Also ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Emptiness and Om

Somewhere reading the book i found something sensible like 'You think you're right , i think i'm right but at last we're neither right neither wrong.' So what is that which is neither right neither ...
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Dharma without Karma?

I simply ask myself rather one could make sense of the Dharma and apply it without the concepts of rebirth and kamma? Though for me it is my personal approach to the Dharma, which i find to be ...
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Usefulness of Madhyamaka to personal practice?

In my opinion, the Sutta Pitaka and Mahayana Agamas (the Mahayana equivalent of the Pali suttas) discuss the nature of the self (anatta, empty of self, dependent arising) in such a way that it is ...
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What would be the motivation for an arahant to perform generous deeds?

In the early stages of the gradual training, the instructions point out to perform generous deeds out of compassion. Knowing that a arahant has no more any trace of desire or self-identification and ...
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How do you understand Ananda Sutta?

How do you understand the Ananda Sutta? How do you place it in relation to the Atman or Anatta (An-atman) doctrine? SN 44.10 Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, ...
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How does the 2nd Noble truth explain the cause of suffering-as-suffering (e.g. resulting from a severe burn)?

I would like to ask question regarding the 4 Noble Truths. The second Noble Truth broadly speaking is that suffering is a result of craving, aversion and ignorance. I can see how this can been seen as ...
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Decoupling happiness from state of the world: Useful? Against human nature?

I'm currently reading the book "Happiness - a guide to developing life's most important skill" by Matthieu Ricard (my first real contact with buddhism/buddhist philosophy). I found the argument he ...
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Everything I do is motivated by greed/aversion. How to react?

I just came to a very upsetting realisation : Almost all my motivation for the things I do in my daily life (mostly playing the piano and studying math in college) comes from bad things, such as ego, ...
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If someone causes me pain but I don’t lament it, feel sorrow about it- what circumstance, if any, warrants acting against the person causing pain?

Step 1: Some person causes me pain Step 2: let’s say I stay neutral about pain, pain does not cause me sorrow, and I don’t feel even slightest feelings of ill will towards that person — all because ...
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What are the traditional Buddhist arguments for rebirth?

According to Buddhist philosophy, there are two Pramanas or means of valid knowledge: Pratyaksha or sensory perception and Anumana or inference. (This is in contrast to most Hindus who believe in ...
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How did this material world come into existence if the ultimate reality is voidness?

Okay, I know that anything that come into existence has a cessation.. So, how did this world of suffering begin? Or, if you say it never began and it's ever existent, why would it need to exist? ...
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Are there different types of craving?

According to Buddhist tradition are there different types of craving? It occurs to me that the following could all be described using the English word craving Being thirsty (for water) Really ...
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Has any Buddhist philosopher claimed space is ideal because it is a whole?

Has any Buddhist philosopher claimed space is ideal because it is a whole, and wholes can't be real? With emphasis on space, not what takes it up, except perhaps to say they're "in" space likes parts ...
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Has anyone read Nagarjuna as claiming only that an effect is never its cause?

Has anyone read Nagarjuna as claiming only that an effect can never be conceived of as its cause? I'm asking because it would neatly fit my own views on how to understand science, as well as I think ...
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What was the reason why Buddha taught reincarnation?

Although Buddha (Siddhartha) taught that humans had no soul, nevertheless he taught that there is a reincarnation. My question is not how these two 'dogmas' are compatible but why he 'needed' ...
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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 ...
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Tolerating Sensations VS Diminishing them

I was wondering something. Basically, I was wondering whether sensations, such as suffering: (1) naturally occur within the person, as pleasure and pain, or happiness and suffering, and it is their ...
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Demotivation and Nihilism

I am curious as to how Buddhism deals with demotivation, in the sense of lacking goals and aspirations, and with nihilism, in the sense of feeling things are dissatisfactory and devoid of reasons to ...
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What is the difference between Dharmakaya and Sambhogakaya?

Within the Trikāya doctrine (the bodies of the Buddha) I've never felt very clear about the differences between the Dharmakaya and Sambhogakaya. I believe that the Nirmanakaya is the physicality of ...
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361 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 ...
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What is the Noble Eightfold Path?

Where is the Noble Eightfold Path found in the Pali Canon? Are there significant differences among the traditions in its interpretation?
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Does Krishnamurti claim of No Path, No Progress, No Goal fit with Buddhist thought?

Quoted below is an article posted on BuddhaNet Magazine relating Krishnamurti's philosophy with Buddhism. The writer relates Krishnamurti's view that there is "no "path", no procedures, no ...
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Mutually Exclusive Approaches

I had begun writing a question, but it was so long I needed to re-frame it simply in fewer words. The basic theme of my question was: aren't some Buddhist techniques mutually exclusive? The simplest ...
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Certainty and Skeptical Investigation

I know Buddhism promotes skeptical investigation, and finding things out with a personal conviction about them, i.e. not believing the Buddha on hearsay but rigorous examination. I wonder: how is ...
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If the literal truth causes confusion, but a lie portrays the truth via a careful misunderstanding, is it really a lie?

Sometimes during everyday conversation, you can notice based on someone's subtle feedback, that they may be misinterpreting something you are telling them. For the sake of the question, please suspend ...
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What's the “wise” answer when the epistemic distance is important?

When someone needs my help, I try to answer their questions as best as I can. Sometimes, the questions make no sense (from my perspective) and from there I struggle. For some things, the person is ...
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Is there a thought in Buddhism which stand for the thinker itself as a thought?

Usually our thoughts have a certain content or object, but in some way one can say that it is the person who has the thoughts. But is there also a mental thought involved of this thinker as a thought? ...
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How are good and bad Karmas determined in Buddhism?

One important thing that Hindus and Buddhists agree on is the law of Karma. That is, there are certain actions which will lead a person to have a positive experience in future, either in this life or ...
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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?
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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)....
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Buddhism - Is it a religion? [duplicate]

I disagreed from the very beginning, after understanding some Buddhist philosophy, that it is not a religion. In my opinion, it is not a religion but a lifestyle or administration under which ...
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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?
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Second Noble Truth

I am reading multiple interpretations of the 2nd noble truth. Most of the sources indicate that it is craving, desires, wanting. Some sources talk about wrong understanding of reality and itself, ...
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Philosophical and Doctrinal Differences between Theravada and Zen, and its effects

The difference between Theravada and Zen may be like night and day. I favour Zen over Chinese Mahayana because I don't quite prefer the Pure Land beliefs. Hence, I want to compare these two. I ...
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Help me to understand the concept of Svalakshan & Savikalpaka jnana intuitively

I've found this phrase- Buddhist logic school of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti, which flourished in medieval Kashmir. According to this school, the foundation of knowledge is a series of momentary and ...
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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.
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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.
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What Buddha taught by his knowledge about human life?

Buddha taught that everything is ephemeral and everything is grief. What a seeker should do in the above circumstances?