World Religions Study Questions

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“CHAPTER 6 STUDY QUESTIONS: BUDDHISM”

1)The paths of these two men are very similar: their life choices follow the same path and the end result was the same. The differences can be traced back to a single point: one was spoiled as a child and one was not. Gautama who lived a life of excess beyond what was normal even for other princes chose a middle path that did not require self deprivation, Mahavira who lead a “normal” life for a prince chose extreme self-deprivation as a tool.

2)Gautama saw four sights: a sick man, a poor man, a beggar, and a corpse, he was filled with infinite sorrow for the suffering that humanity has to undergo. After seeing these four things, Gautama then dedicated himself to finding a way to end human suffering.

3) The First Noble Truth is that old age, illness, and death are all forms of human suffering, and that there are many other other ways in which people suffer. The Buddha accepted the Vedic idea of endlessly successive reincarnations where life followed upon life, with much suffering inevitably attending in each of these lives. The idea of Karma further suggesting that in each existence a person's good or bad deeds would respectively impact positively or negatively on their store of "merit". It was this Karma-merit that would underpin the advantageous, or pitiful, state into which individual reincarnations would occur. The Second Noble Truth is that suffering is closely linked to desire, a desire for being which leads from birth to death and involve aging, illness, and mortality. There are also various desires for pleasures and for powers which, frustratingly, may not be realized. The Third Noble Truth is that suffering can be dispelled by the abandonment of all desires. The last of the Four Noble Truths holds that such abandonment of desires can be achieved by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

4)Before the Buddhist period, there were two widely held beliefs; one was that all things were permanent,...
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