Buddha and Lao Tzu are two of the greatest and most influential philosophical thinkers of Ancient Asia. Buddha’s best known texts were the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold path. “But neither doctrine, widespread in Indian religion at large, was distinctive of the Buddha’s thought in the way that two underlying doctrines of a more metaphysical character were (Cooper 53)". This text was the ‘Conditioned Genesis’. Lao Tzu’s most influential text was the Tao Te Ching. Both the ‘Conditioned Genesis’ and Tao Te Ching were written around the sixth century BCE.
The purpose of the Tao Te Ching was to advise the rulers and common folk of ancient China on how to live a harmonious life. The purpose of the ‘Conditioned Genesis’ was for readers to grasp the concept of that suffering may be ended and liberation from the everyday world could be achieved (Cooper 53-54). Each of the readings has similarities and differences in their metaphysical claims. This paper will describe these concepts as they apply to each of their claims.
Lao Tzu’s metaphysical claim is that “insight into the way enables a proper human life. The good sage person is one who, in certain, respects, emulates the way, above all by renouncing those conventions or artifices and a febrile striving antithetical to Wu-Wei, which indicate that the tao has been lost (Cooper 15).” Buddha’s metaphysical claim is “Nirvana, the goal of the Eightfold Path, is the stopping of becoming, of the cycle of birth and death (Cooper 54).” The intention of these claims was to reach an ultimate goal, to achieve a peace and harmony within the being and with nature.
Buddha refers to this goal as enlightment or Nirvana. For example, “this eightfold Way itself is for the realization of Nirvana, that is to say: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right mode of livelihood, right endeavour, right mindfulness, right concentration (Cooper 60).”
Lao Tzu refers to this goal as the nature of things or the Way (Tao)....