Buddhism is the only major religion which acknowledges a large area of ignorance about external matters. Unlike other religions, it does not even attempt to answer questions like ‘What is the purpose of life, the universe and everything?’ Buddhism regards such questions as at best unanswerable and probably intrinsically meaningless. The only purpose of life is what we personally give to our own lives. Buddha suggested that the most meaningful use of life was to seek liberation from ignorance, suffering and the cycle of samsaric rebirth, both for one’s self and others. But this ‘meaning’ does not reside ‘in the sky’ or in any way outside of the individual, and it cannot be imposed, but must be freely chosen.
I was googling around and entered “buddhism+christianity” (note the “+”, rather than “vs.”) I got page after page of variations on “Buddhism vs. Christianity,” and every one of them was either an attack on Buddhism by a Christian or a defense of Buddhism from such an attack. Not one was directed the other way: a buddhist attacking christians.
I wonder why we frighten these people so? Or is it the intrinsic logic inherent in Buddhism, as opposed to blind faith? It seems to me that every time it’s concentration on things like reincarnation, nirvana and such — things that not even Buddhists agree about completely — in an attempt to show that they don’t agree with Western mythology. (As if it were the Final Word. As if there were a final word.) Not one of them ever looks at the core teachings of the Buddha, and how they apply to life and philosophy.
It must be very boring to have such a shallow approach to life — defend, defend, defend. Attack, attack, attack. Don’t learn. It might be dangerous.