Religion, Reason and Truth
Morals, values, love; everyone believes in something. For the majority, these beliefs are centered around their religion. For those with religious conviction, that absolute truth is perceived to be God. Merriam Webster, in the context of Christian science, defines truth as “God” (Merriam Webster), while religion is “beliefs and practices […] that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power, God or gods, or ultimate truth” according to Clifford Geertz, an anthropologist (Robinson). That leap of faith involved in religion is what allows humanity to find an absolute truth. While believers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity all ascribe to an ultimate truth, religion is the means to attain it. In Buddhism, the means to find the truth is referred to as the Eightfold Path. Buddhists believe in four Noble Truths: suffering is part of life; emotional attachment, ignorance, and selfishness are causes of suffering ; a state of transcendence of suffering exists; and there is a path that leads to that state (Schober 1). That path is the Eightfold Path, or the Middle Way, the journey that lies between severe asceticism and gross indulgence (Lopez 1). The transcendence of suffering, nirvana, is the ultimate truth and the ultimate goal, and Buddhism offers a conduit to reach that state of enlightenment. Nirvana is not a fixed target. In Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, Siddhartha was searching for his true self, his personal truth, ultimately it proved to be the inevitability of life and that absolute truth revealed itself through the Middle Way after he experienced both extremes. The pattern of a path or way to a higher and absolute truth recurs in most faiths. The Hindu counterpart of nirvana is Brahman. The Alliance of Religions and Conservation describes Brahman as the spiritual truth from whom all existence comes (ARC). There are two faces to this universal soul, there is Brahman nirguna...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document