Buddhism-a religion or a philosophy please discuss?





by Mike B:

This is open to all, you do not have to declare if you belong to a religion or not, that is not relevent, just your opinion for thinking yes or no and the reasons why. I will give my opinion at the end,

Answer by rac (euro atheist)
Take your pick. You can follow it as a philosophy or as a religion.


  1. Basically modern day Buddhists do not practice the Buddhism that Buddha (the incarnation of Vishnu) bestowed upon this world….Modern day Buddhists practice a corrupted and distorted version of Buddhism. Many modern day people (especially westerners) have completely failed to understand true Buddhism and have completely ruined it by turning it into an atheist ideology.
    Buddha came to reform Hinduism, he did not come to establish a a new path. Many of his sermons he spoke about “Brahma”, which to the audience he would have been speaking to (Hindus) would have denoted God….Moreover all Buddhist mantras begin with OM (which according to Hinduism) is the name of God and was the sound that was produced at the time of the Big Bang……Although he didn’t confirm the existence of God, he didn’t deny it either and the reason for that was because he didn’t want to establish a completely new religion and thus cause even more division in the world. Furthermore, when he left to meditate under the tree, it was actually Vedic mantras that he meditated on.
    What Buddha did say however was that the aim of life wasn’t to worship God, but to become a part of him and unite with his soul. Buddha stated that by worshipping God we were in essence establishing a friendship with him and although were accumulating good karma, God worship itself wouldn’t grant nirvana (moksha)…The aim of life was to reach that level of consciousness whereby one could become on the same level as God. Fools have taken this attitude to mean that Buddhism does not believe in God which Buddha himself never stated.
    Many Buddhist temples (especially in places like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos as well as Thailand) usually have Hindu deities in them.
    Had Buddha been alive today, he would have probably laughed at the condition that people have kept his teachings in.

  2. Well it is also a philosiphy but i’m going to defend it as a religion.
    You know how in the west language developed with letters and all european languages use the same ones but in the east language developed differenetly with lines and dots. It’s still language its just a different format.
    Relgion is the same way in the west it was common to have a God, a book, and a place of worship.
    In the east religion developed more out of philosiphy. Deities were used some but they weren’ the principal reason for the religion – the teachings were.
    There is actually a system developed by a female theologist in the past few years to determine what a religion was. Because until then the definition of religion was not very broad, it only encompassed western religions. Hers however included things such as rituals and teachings etc.
    This is why you may hear people saying ‘well technically its not a religion’ because it doesn’t fit the western format of having a God or anything. Its just that buddhism doesn’t fill out that part of the form – i believe in god some buddhists dont but i’m still buddhist. We go to temples we learn and practice our teachings. It’s not that different from western religions, so yes it is a religion.

  3. Religion requires a Deity
    Philosophy is only one department in a University Buddhism is the whole University Therefore Buddhism can be considered an Education

  4. Traditionally, as with Taoism, it is considered to be a religion. For example, it has the temples, monasticism and special texts of a religion.
    Whether a ‘religion’ should be solely something related to the worship of a deity is neither here nor there in my opinion. The current ‘rule of thumb’ appears to be whether something may be considered to be a spiritually based practice, which Buddhism clearly may.
    Your question is in effect the flip side to the Christian argument that their ‘faith’ is not a religion but a relationship. But in the eyes of Joe Public I’d say both Buddhism and Christianity are religions.

  5. Sure?
    It’s a religion?
    Look in the real world.
    Not just hear-say of ghostly kitchen’s ghost stories filled with modern history of Gautama who was an Indian from tribe of different community back in the past?
    What is tribe of different community were doing in messing up the graveyard of tribe of different community in own backyards?
    If they were the words of God then how did Gautama ended up with empty skeleton of skull and bones being left behind with time?
    Since God is spirit of God.
    Not past dirty old man with self lack of knowledge like you and me back in the past.
    Getting themselves kick on the butts by the dead Mummy in kicking the butts of God in not worshiping God but idol worshiping past dirty old man from someone else graveyards without being aware of it being expose in time.
    Luke 6.39-40,41-45,46-49
    What do you think?

  6. I believe that Buddhism is a religion with a strong philosophical element. We must understand that even though there are some worshipers who are really into the philosophy behind the religion, many are basically devotional followers who practice the tradition they were given from their elders. Now if an American converts then they are more likely to be more likely to have heard books on the philosophy and view it more in that vein. Also as with any of the great religions, there are sects which emphasize difference aspects.

  7. Your question touches what I see as a fallacy in the current dictionary definition of religion . A religion should mean a set of beliefs with a God as its head instead it is rather loosely termed without that specific requirement .
    Buddhism does not follow a God yet is termed a Religion,as are a few others that follow no God but are about humans only.
    I totally disagree with this and the word Religion needs to be updated.. So no Buddhism is not a Religion by my definition. Im from Australia where we have all the religions

  8. I am from Sri Lanka where the majority of people are Buddhists. Yet we also have people who are following a number of other religions. I have been a Buddhist ever since I can remember. Buddha taught us a way to live. That is why it is always said that “Mankind is not for Buddhism, Buddhism is for mankind.”
    The teachings of Buddha guide me to search answers for all my question with in my self. Even in your question, I see a simple answer I can give to you.
    Buddhism is a way to live. It teaches you to live succeesfully with the inner peace. What would you call such a teaching? Do you call it a religion or a philosophy? But the most important question is weather it matters as long as it helps you find what you need. Try and focus on the search for truth that lies within you. As of Buddha’s last words, the highest respect we can pay him is to follow his teachings and find the Buddhist salvation, Nirwana.
    May you find the answer to your question soon.

  9. depends of what you class a religion as , if to you a religion believes in a God or creator then it is not a religion , I believe it is a philosophy that people can choose to abide by so are not pressured by the prospect of hell , It is only focused on realizing one’s inner self and to achieve knowledge.

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