Critical Thinking Essay: Buddhism Worldview

1) The Question of Origin- (How did life begin? How did mankind come into existence?)

1. How would your selected worldview answer these questions?

The belief that Buddhists carry is that God and the universe are one in the same and that there is no existence of a “creator” because according to the religion, everything that exists has always existed. They believe that a cycle exists where everything experiences birth, death, and rebirth. Buddhism, which is a part of pantheism, also indicates that there is not a personal God. Rather, the focus is on the universe and its sacred existence. It is believed in Buddhism that all that exists is a part of god. (Weider & Gutierrez, 2014, p.64).

2. Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

The Bible tells us that everything was created by God Himself. In the readings from Genesis, it tells us and goes into specifics of all that exists being created by God. According to the book, “What is a Biblical Worldview” and the Bible in Genesis, God existed before anything was to be seen or unseen (Weider & Gutierrez, 2014, p.84).
2) The Question of Identity – (What does it mean to be human? Are humans more important than animals?)

1. How would your selected worldview answer these questions?

According to Buddhism, all life is sacred and spiritual in nature. Buddhists believe that it is important to consider a one’s soul, as it is decided what future life one will have dependent upon that individuals “karma”. Basically, if one were to live doing bad actions, that way of life would determine their next life. (Weider & Gutierrez, p.66). Buddhists also have the belief that they are to refrain from hurting or taking the life of an animal because they believe all life is sacred. (Halverson, 2004, p.3).

2. Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

Being human, we have a natural tendency towards a sinful nature, because we are imperfect. According to Psalm 8:3-9, animals are not capable of sin and are innocent beings, but we have domain over them. Having domain over the animals, we are commanded by God to treat them with deserving respect and kindness (Weider & Gutierrez, 2014, p.66). An animal’s inability to commit sin is one of the biggest differences between human and animal. All sin comes from a man’s heart (Mark 7:21-22).
3) The Question of Meaning/Purpose – (Why does mankind exist? Why do I exist?)

1. How would your selected worldview answer these questions?

The purpose of a Buddhist life is for the individual to end the cycle of reincarnation by reaching nirvana. In order for a Buddhist to believe in reaching nirvana, they must follow and achieve the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Noble Path. The reason for Buddhists belief of being stuck in a cycle of reincarnation is due to temporary desires (Weider & Gutierrez, p. 69).

2. Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.
The biblical purpose for man’s existence is to have a relationship with God (Weider & Gutierrez, p. 69). We are not only called to have a relationship with God but to also spread His word to others who may not have a relationship with God. (Exodus 9:16).

4) The Question of Morality – (What is meant by right and wrong? How should I live?)

1. How would your selected worldview answer these questions?

According to the Buddhism worldview, it is believed that karma is what decides what actions by one are right or wrong. The action that a person chooses it what will be returned to them. Choose to act in a bad way, karma believes that you will receive something bad. (Weider & Gutierrez, p. 66). Buddhists believe they should do and follow the ethical conducts or rules as listed in the Sila. Some examples of rules in the Sila are common sense in nature that one should refrain from murder, sexual deviancy, stealing, intoxicating substances, and lying (Halverson, p. 3).

2. Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

It is clear for us Christians that the Bible teaches us how to best live our life. We should not just trust in ourselves, instead, trust the Word of God and use the Word as a guide on how to live our life. (Proverbs 3:6-7).
5) The Question of Destiny – (Is there life after death? What will happen to me when I die?)

1. How would your selected worldview answer these questions?

As stated in number four, Buddhists believe that reaching nirvana will get them to stop the eternal cycle of reincarnation, which is affected by karma. (Weider & Gutierrez, p.73). They believe that reaching nirvana is the end of their suffering. (Halverson, p. 3).

2. Compare and Contrast this with how the biblical worldview would answer this question.

Christians believe that if you have asked Jesus into your heart and ask for forgiveness of your sinful nature that you will spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven. Those who believe in the Bible should have no fear of life after death because they will be living in Heaven with Jesus eternally. (2 Corinthians 5:1-2, 8).
References

Halverson, Dean. (2004). Buddhism. Colorado Springs, CO: International Students, Inc.
Weider, L., & Gutierrez, B., (2014). Finding your worldview: Thinking christianly about the world. Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group. ISBN: 9781932213898.

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