Buddhism vs. Christianity
Buddhism and Christianity are two of the most prominent worldwide religions; the Buddhist faith has three hundred and sixty million followers while Christianity is the largest religious sect worldwide with two billion believers. These particular sects of religious belief are the two largest religions in the world but have conflicting views on things such as the religions individual views of the afterlife and death, and moral code or ethics. The foundation of Buddhism is based upon personal mental anguish and guilt if committing a wrongdoing. Christianity on the other hand has firm beliefs of sins that are punishable by separation from God the Creator. The Buddhist Karmic Law and Christian Moral Code however are very comparable in values and beliefs but the way in which they are carried out are where the differences become apparent. The beliefs and morals of the two religions are very similar on the surface; the differences between Buddhism and Christianity become visible in the way in which the followers of each faith carry out their religious life.
The ethics and moral conducts that are involved in the Buddhist faith are very detailed and complex rules put into different categories. Two different sets of religious laws in the faith are the five precepts and the eightfold path that are followed by the lay and clergy of Buddhism. The five precepts of Buddhism are to avoid taking the life of all living beings not just humans, do not ever take anything that is not given to you the object received must be specifically intended for you, and avoid any delinquencies of the senses including things other than sexual misconducts such as gluttony, persons are to abstain from false speech such as lies, deceptions, and slanders, lastly a Buddhist of strong faith must avoid any intoxicants because intoxicants very often lead to breaking the other precepts (Oxtoby). In comparison to the Christian Ten Commandments that are punishable the Five Precepts are not punishable. Rather these precepts are to be looked upon as training mechanisms for the Buddhist people. These precepts are not punishable because a large part the Buddhism is intense personal mental anguish and guilt to strengthen the believer. The eightfold path is another tool used in the Buddhist faith. The eight steps of the path are divided into three different parts wisdom, ethical conduct, and mental development (Oxtoby). The first two components of the path make up the wisdom portion; they are right view and right intention. Right view is considered by Buddhists to be the beginning and end of the eightfold path. To move to the next step on the path one must grasp the ever-changing nature of the world, the unimportance of ones possessions and objects and fully understand the laws of karma. Right intention is the second aspect of the path the three intentions are intentions of renunciation, of good will, and harmlessness, which simply means to act without harming others. The next three steps of the path are in the category of ethical conduct; they are right speech, right action, and right livelihood. Right speech is a guideline to moral discipline because words can greatly affect a person’s life, this too involves the concept of avoiding lying, slandering and using harsh words. Right Action is the next step that involves not harming any living beings, not taking anything not intended for you, and sexual misconducts. Right livelihood gives the faithful four things to avoid that are dealing weapons, dealing in beings even cattle, meat production or butchering, and selling intoxicants. The last three components of the path are classified under mental development. Right effort is the first and gives Buddhists four endeavors, preventing the rising of unwholesome states, to abandon already risen unwholesome states, to arouse the wholesome states, and maintain wholesome states already rose. Right Mindfulness involves...
Cited: 1. Oxtoby, Willard Gurdon., and Alan F. Segal. A Concise Introduction to World Religions. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.
2. Gibbs, Andrew. "Class Notes." Rel1300. HCB, Tallahassee. 22 Mar. 2012. Lecture.
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