Kyle S. Leister
February 22, 2013
Religious and Ethnic Groups Paper
I picked Buddhism as my religious group. I am a Christian so this is interesting to me because if would have stayed in Thailand, Buddhism would be the religion that I would have learned and believed in. Buddhism is a very unique religion and it differs from all other religion out there. They do not believe in a God. Tak stated, “We don't believe in a god because we believe in man. We believe that each human being is precious and important, that all have the potential to develop into a Buddha - a perfected human being. We believe that human beings can outgrow ignorance and irrationality and see things as they really are. We believe that hatred, anger, spite and jealousy can be replaced by love, patience, generosity and kindness. We believe that all this is within the grasp of each person if they make the effort, guided and supported by fellow Buddhists and inspired by the example of the Buddha. As the Buddha says: No one saves us but ourselves,
No one can and no one may.
We ourselves must walk the path,
But Buddhas clearly show the way” (2011)
The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism teach that life is a suffering, there is a cause of this suffering, it is possible to put an end to this suffering and the Noble Eightfold Path is the means to end this suffering. Refuge in Three Jewels is the three components of Buddhism which protect a person from the unstable world as he progresses on the path to become a Buddhist. The Five Precepts lay down the moral conduct to make human world a better place to live. These precepts prevent Buddhists from indulging in deeds that restrict spiritual growth and cause harm to others. The Three Marks of Conditioned Existence explain that everything in this world is impermanent, without substance and full of suffering. They do not have a ten commandments, no judgment day, no creation myth, no prayers for help or intervention, and let’s people find their own path though life. There are no rewards or punishments on judgment day like others. Buddhism is strictly not a religion in the context of being a faith and worship owing allegiance to a supernatural being.
Buddhism has been looked upon as opposite teaching from other and this makes Buddhism have a negative experience even though they feel that it is okay and that hateful things can not cut through their skin. This is what my brother had to say about his experience with others in different religion, a member on Yahoo commented “I have experienced hate form other who don't believe in what I believe in. And for the simple fact that I don't worship their god. People have been afraid and confused and it's sad that people are this way. Well people telling me that I'm going to burn in hell is just one example. Mostly I get people coming up to talk to me and I get the whole, "so are you a good Christian girl thing," which makes me want to puke, and I say no I'm Pagan. And most people don't even know what that means, but typically they stop talking and walk away.”( Philosoraptor, 2012)
Buddhism has contributed little at a time and over time. Today we use meditation as a relaxation and even as a type of medicine. It is like yoga, has the same affect on the mind, body, and soul. The growth with Buddhism is even reaching different races, like for example Whites. Amanda Rivera said, “I think the appeal comes from the fact that the Lotus Sutra emphasizes the absolute equality of all people to be able to attain buddhahood, to attain their enlightenment.
The sources of prejudice and discrimination with any religious group is that people do not know and understand the group and which fear and hate starts to set in. It is the people’s ignorance that causes the negative feelings and actions.
When we talk about prejudice and discrimination a fine example would be two years ago in Kansas. The...