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Liberty University Online
April 25, 2015
Buddhism is not overly concerned with the question of origin and is better understood to be a philosophy. Buddha himself believed in a lifeform or energy as opposed to God. (Hindson & Caner, 2008, p.115) We also learn from Weider and Gutierrez (2013) that Buddhism is a form of the pantheism worldview and as such, “involves reverence for the Universe rather than for any creator being or personal God.”
Buddhism only separates man from animal is the sense that they both seek “eternal oneness.” (Weider & Gutierrez, 2013, p.67) Eternal oneness being the state of Nirvana which is the ultimate goal of all Buddhists. Buddhists believe that Karma determines whether their actions are good enough to advance their place in the next life or so bad as to demote them to a lower life force. Because of this, all life is sacred to the Buddhist.
Meaning and Purpose
The immediate goal of the Buddhist is to eliminate personal suffering in order to reach their ultimate goal which is to end the cycle of death and rebirth; the state of Nirvana. (Weider & Gutierrez, 2013, p.70) Desire is considered the root of all suffering and only by eliminating desire can an individual’s suffering cease. Buddhist are taught the specific steps necessary to eliminate desire in the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Noble Path.
The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Noble Paths define ethical code for Buddhists. In summary, the Four Noble Truths teach that life consists of suffering because of “impermanent desires.” (Halverson, 1992, p.3) The elimination of desire can occur when one follows the Eightfold Path which incorporates wisdom, ethical conduct and mental discipline.
The ultimate goal...