Does Buddhism's ability to merge with other religions suggest it is more a philosophy then a religion?





by The Pagan Buddhist:

Like I’ve noticed that in Buddhist history the religion has had a way of spreading to an area, absorbing the practices and beliefs already native to the area, and syncretizing them into itself. This has happened with Buddhism and Bon, Buddhism and Hinduism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion, Buddhism and Shinto, and is now happening with Buddhism and Christianity to a rather large scale. A large number of Christians also practice Buddhism.

Answer by Lady Barstow
Yes, Buddhism is a religion without deity, therefore any religion with a deity can absorb Buddhist teachings.


  1. Buddhism is not a religion as it does not bother about GOD.
    Buddhism is not a philosophy as there is an established practice to take us to the state what it teaches.
    In short , it is a practice.

  2. All knowledge comes from God and he revels it to to who he will
    Buddha was far more than a philosopher
    No philosopher or philosophy could have that much effect on the world

  3. A chameleon is still a chameleon, no matter what colour it adopts.
    Buddhism is still Buddhism, no matter what local colouration it absorbs.
    The reason why it’s more a philosophy than a religion is that it does not promote the belief that there is a God, or numerous gods, to be worshipped by devotees. It only absorbs already-existent ideas about worshipping God/gods in order to lead believers along to freedom from attachment to such ideas. It is similar to the paradox of a bodhisattva who wishes to attain enlightenment; Mahayana Buddhism states that no one can attain or ‘get’ enlightenment but it presents the idea and language of a path to be followed in order to ‘get’ there.
    Religion has to involve worship of deity, otherwise the idea remains as a philosophy.

  4. Not sure why people are so insistent that Buddhism does not have deities:
    “There is another important difference between Buddhist deities and mythological gods or goddesses. … The deities of Buddhism are ultimately regarded as manifestations of Emptiness. Some practitioners eventually abandon deity devotion as a method for attaining an enlightened state when it has outlived its utility. ”
    We can dance around semantics all we wish, but the concept exists.
    There is a trend in Western Buddhism to adorn oneself with the more philosophical/mystical aspects of Buddhism, whilst leaving any thought of deity at the door. (since that’s what the individual was probably running from in the first place).
    That’s certainly fine, but I have to wonder why the deity bits were specifically discarded by those in the West. There appears to be a need to adopt the exotic, but ensure they cannot be charged as still clinging to belief in deity by those from the outside.

  5. Buddhism was never a religion; only the uninformed label it in that way.
    A religion has one or more deities; Buddhism doesn’t have any.

  6. i always thought Buddhism was more of a philosophy that a religion also but there are some branches of Buddhism where supernatural beliefs are held, but none towards a god.
    most Buddhists are agnostic/atheists too.

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