41 votes
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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

The Mahayana perspective on social and ecological ethics is based on the high ideals of symbiosis, harmony, and cooperation. In the old times there were wandering monks who did not work and lived on ...
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37 votes
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Hypocrisy of Buddhism

Buddhist master, Ajahn Brahm, answered a similar question as follows in an interview with Rachael Kohn: Rachael Kohn: I know that your message is often about happiness, and how the point of life......
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26 votes
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Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy?

It really depends which definition of religion you go for. For instance Human recognition of superhuman controlling power and particularly of a personal God [..] Oxford English Dictionary. Buddhism ...
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22 votes
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What is the meaning and/or purpose of life?

I think that, in the zen soto tradition, the answer would be the famous word of Dogen Zenji: "あるがまま" (read: arugamama) which kind of translate as "things are so". Zen encourage a radical acceptation ...
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17 votes

How to combine Buddhism with being a parent?

Parents are supposed to practice Brahmavihara towards children. Attachment doesn't benefit them in any way. What benefits them are kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. Attachment or ...
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15 votes

What is the meaning and/or purpose of life?

First, I think it's important to realize that Buddhism doesn't place special significance on this life, in the sense that it is simply part of a constant stream of never-ending lives. So, many of our ...
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14 votes

Are there any alternative formulations of the five skandas?

Here is a fairly comprehensive list of alternatives: Onefold: saṅkhāra formations; everything that arises and ceases all five aggregates fit in this category. Twofold: nāmarūpa name and form (...
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13 votes

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

In Theravada, as the Wikipedia article states, there are types of truth: conventional truth (sammuti-sacca) and ultimate truth (paramattha-sacca). These two types of truth are not exactly the same as ...
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13 votes
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Is it possible to become UNenlightened?

No! Once you attain Nibbana, the defilements are annihilated without the possibility of return. Just like uprooting a tree instead of chopping it down or trimming it. So it can never grow back from ...
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12 votes

Do Buddhists believe in gods?

Most Buddhists believe in some form of "higher" being; brahmas, devas, etc. It is not an orthodox Buddhist practice to pray to these deities, but people are people. Ordinary Buddhists from most, if ...
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12 votes
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How compatible are the beliefs of atheists and Buddhism?

I would say compatible. There is a significant Secular Buddhism movement based on agnostic, humanist and skeptical values. Stephen Batchelor is a notable proponent of this school for instance in his ...
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12 votes

Is there evidence of a Buddhist influence on Greek Stoicism?

It's hard to answer these kind of things with a negative but I'm going to be bold and do that with caveats. I haven't heard of Stoicism itself being directly influenced by Buddhism but..... There is ...
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12 votes

What is the meaning and/or purpose of life?

For sentient beings, the meaning of life is to be happy. Without happiness, nothing else matters, right? And when you are happy, you don't need anything else. So, for a sentient being, there is no ...
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12 votes

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

Where does one draw the line for which forms of life are ok to destroy, and which ones are not? That (i.e. "which forms of life?") might be not the right question. If you're describing the ...
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11 votes

Buddhism vs. Nature and Real World

Samsara can be quite brutal and there is suffering. The Buddha acknowledged this in the First Noble Truth. And his last words urged his disciples to strive on with diligence toward their enlightenment....
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11 votes
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If there is no self what or who is it that gets enlightened?

The main point of the answer you cite is that anatta is a characteristic of ultimate reality. Your question misses this and conflates two different paradigms or levels of understanding. In Theravada ...
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11 votes

Hypocrisy of Buddhism

Buddhist not trying to accumulate money/power and use it to help people and change world, is hypocritical? Hypocrisy is defined as: 1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious ...
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10 votes
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How to combine Buddhism with being a parent?

Love and attachment are only incidentally related. Of course that depends on how you define love. I would propose that love can be crudely understood as the act of giving. Naturally "investing" ...
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10 votes

Why is there even a way to the end of suffering?

In MN64, the Buddha discusses the conundrum of identity and the presumed immaculate innocence of infants: MN64:3.3: For a little baby doesn’t even have a concept of ‘identity’, so how could identity ...
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9 votes

What does Buddhism literature and tradition say about transgender folks?

The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara can be seen as having an indeterminate gender. Quoting from this website One interpretation of this development contends that the bodhisattva is neither male or ...
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9 votes

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

causality. Action. Reaction. Cause and effect This is agreeable with Theravada Buddhism. This is dealt in dependent origination Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those ...
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9 votes
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Are there different types of emptiness (Śūnyatā)?

In Tibetan Buddhism, emptiness is analyzed in many different ways. Madhyamakavatara by Candrakirti lists 16 types of emptiness. These include emptiness of emptiness, emptiness of the unobservable etc. ...
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9 votes
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How to accept things as-is and live according to as-is?

As I answered in the other question, meaning and purpose are artificial assignations from external sources. It is impossible for anything to have more meaning than is intrinsic in its nature; ...
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9 votes
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What are conditioned as opposed to unconditioned phenomena?

All things are conditioned (matter, feelings, perceptions, thoughts and consciousness itself). Conditioned in that their arising, form and duration are influenced by other things. Only nibbana (...
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9 votes

How can the theory of emptiness be true and yet the self still transmigrates and takes rebirth?

Not all forms of Buddhism define emptiness in the way you describe; in Theravada Buddhism, for example, emptiness mainly means "empty of self": “katamā cāvuso, suññatā cetovimutti”? “idhāvuso, ...
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9 votes
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I would like to become Buddhist

I've heard that they don't believe in any god. It depends on what you mean by God. Buddhism does not have the concept of a almighty, creator (deism), sustainer, creator plus sustainer (theism), ...
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8 votes
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What are the Four Immeasurables (aka Four Noble Abodes)?

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmavihara the Four Noble Abodes are: Loving-kindness (Pāli: mettā, Sanskrit: maitrī) towards all: the hope that a person will be well; "the wish that ...
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  • 9,462
8 votes

How and when should a child be introduced to Buddhism?

I have a daughter who is nearly 4 now. I first took her to the local Buddhist Centre when she was about a year old on a family day that we organised. The Buddhist practice involved running around the ...
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  • 20.8k
8 votes

Why is Buddhism not Nihilism?

I believe it all comes down to the way one sees reality. One could argue that as everything has been changing since the beginninless time, everything is "Eternal", it is just changing shapes. I ...
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