The science of religion

The science of religion

If there is any religion that could correspond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism

~ Einstein

Buddha said:

Believe not in anything simply because you have heard it,
Believe not in anything simply because it was spoken and rumored by many,
Believe not in anything simply because it was found written in your religious texts,
Believe not in anything merely on the authority of teachers and elders,
Believe not in traditions because they have been handed down for generations,
But after observation and analysis, if anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, accept it and live up to it.

Buddha was a scientist. What he said above refers to rationalism.

Another interesting read: https://jamescungureanu.wordpress.com/2014/12/

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15 thoughts on “The science of religion

  1. Suppose it agrees with reason but IS NOT conductive to the good and benefit of one and all? What then?
    Think of the benefit of the internal combustion engine then consider the pollution it causes.

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    1. Hello kaptonok, the quote does indeed agree with reason and rationalisation. I think, however, that you are looking at this from a different perspective, i.e. from a non-Buddhist perspective. Buddhists tend to live by a simple rule, “do what makes you happy as long as it doesn’t hurt you, those or the world around you”, and that is to what Buddha is referring in the quote. It is nothing to do with specific inventions, most of which have been brought to life without thought for the consequences, precisely because most of the inventors aren’t Buddhist and have not been brought up with that way of thinking, or simply because “those in power” do not want the good inventions to come on the market because they would lose money.

      I too often get frustrated with the fact that while I appreciate the invention of the car, I dislike how much pollution is caused by emissions, i.e. the consequences of driving around using petrol. Then someone invents the water car (Stanley Meyers) decades ago, the consequences of which resulted in the inventor being murdered (http://americanfreepress.net/the-water-fueled-car/) because the invention of a water car would undermine the petroleum industry (of course). Think of what is occurring now with the increase of Tesla cars out there, an alternative energy source – ever increasing number of electric cars… great!

      All I’m saying is, nothing is ever black and white, but if you look at life, and science, the way Buddha suggests in the quote above, then you are more likely get a better rounded understanding of whatever it is you are analysing, or whatever gossip to which you’re listening, or whatever religious texts you’re reading.

      Buddha is simply saying, “do not just accept things on face value, question them”. And that, to me, is the science of religion, or vice versa even.

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      1. It may be a good recipe for behaviour but I can see one snag.
        My happiness may result in someone elses misery. I buy a nice new shirts made by child labour. I break Health and Safety to make extra money, and a thousand other reasons. Perhaps my country lives at the expense of poorer nations.
        Although we are moral beings nature is amoral ; the sea will drown the good , the bad and the indifferent. We can add to this the fact that we do not always follow our consciences there are other forces at work in our make up.
        If we are to accept evolution we are born to survive and survival may be nasty. At this moment bacteria are fighting successfully to survive our antibiotics; much to our horror.

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      2. Yes, that is exactly Buddha’s point… if in making yourself happy you have inadvertently made someone else somewhere unhappy, then you shouldn’t be buying those clothes, buying mahogany tables, or eating Argentinian meat, for example… the problem is that humanity’s desires, their demands, drive the industries of the poorer world, i.e. Brazil with deforesting the Amazon in order to find gold, or make space for more cattle to be raised for milk and meat, thereby adding to the carbon footprint, destroying the environment, and all because us richer humans worldwide demand more meat and milk, and more gold and more, well, everything, even when no one actually needs it. More often than not it’s the poorer countries in the world that supply the richer countries, rather than their own locals.

        I know this all sounds quite extreme, and if one can suggest to live their way of life like this, then we will all be wearing non-dyed clothes, made of natural materials that we have harvested and tailored ourselves, or eat food we’ve grown in our gardens, rather than been shipped from the other side of the world. It is conscientious living, like putting all your loose fruit and veg in reusable bags at the supermarket instead of using the skinny plastic ones. It isn’t easy, but it is possible.

        By the way, some of the first bacteria to exist is on a women’s nipples and it is the first bacteria that goes into a baby’s mouth and stomach, to build up their immune systems… there exists both good and bad bacteria within our systems, and every living thing on this planet down to the minutest atom has the opportunity to evolve… and humans do their damnedest to keep on top of the ever evolving strains (of anything) that are in existence.

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      3. I take your point and I’m sure we are living at far too fast a pace and craving many things we do not need.
        Meat eating must be reduced and we should eat more vegetables.
        It is very hard for us westerners with our high expectancy, exotic bathrooms central heating and very large televison set , that we use to escape from our possessions.
        Your interesting comments on bacteria made me smile I can see your opinion of evolution is the same as mine.
        How do you marry this with the peaceful smile of the Buddha?

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      4. For me, Buddha does not state that evolution is a bad thing. In fact, quite the opposite – we must adapt accordingly to what happens around us, so long as we do not harm others in the process (it usually goes back to that point, lol). This is why I love the fact that even Einstein admits that “If there is any religion that could correspond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism”, precisely because of the way Buddha didn’t accept things without questioning first, which to me is exactly what a true scientist is all about. The unfortunate thing, as you so rightly pointed out, is that a lot of scientists/humans out there who have discovered things, are so caught up in their discoveries, they do not think further than that moment, and what the discovery may mean for the future, if mishandled.

        I also have to admit that I do not see Buddhism as a religion at all, but more a way of life – Buddhists do not worship any gods, unlike all other religions in existence today. It is probably why Buddhism and science can go hand-in-hand so easily 😉

        Lovely to chat – we will do so again, I’m sure. Have a fabulous weekend! Peace.

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  2. Great quotes:

    Buddhism is a great way of life. It reminds me of ancient Greek philosophy and the sayings of Socrates and also those of Plato. It is true that many people do not question authority or anything for that matter. They blindly follow false prophets. In my opinion this is why we’re having such a hard time to shift the world consciousness. We have a lot of people sleeping and feeling more comfortable burring their head in the sands. The Matrix is a science fiction film that approaches that social issue pretty accurately. Some people are unconsciously asleep while others sleep consciously good. Those sleepers are the real problem because they are sleeping with awakened eyes. Still they choose to ignore the facts and continue believing in an harmful capitalistic system.

    I hope you keep posting: Infinite peace and wisdom!

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    1. Yes, EXACTLY – Buddhism IS a great way of life, rather than a religion; I’m so glad someone else see’s it that way!

      As for The Matrix – I LOVED THAT MOVIE… literally, went to see it with no expectations at all, nor did I even hear what the storyline was, and came out thinking I’d stepped into another dimension and could actually walk in front of cars without being injured… I didn’t but I did think about it :/ LOL

      And you are right – we are in a time of awakening, and it is incredibly difficult to shift world consciousness towards the light. But I have faith, with all the social media out there, I don’t think I have ever heard so many positive vibes as I have had the pleasure to feel as in the last 8 years. Socialism is on the rise (Bernie in the US, Jeremy in the UK). People are more environmentally friendly, esp where recycling and buying local produce is concerned. Ever more people are gaining healthier lifestyles, and the world is becoming more aware of it’s actions.

      I just want to say, while I have hope, I do still believe there is a lot of work out there remaining to be done. If only people would remember, or inherently understand, that atman is Brahman, i.e. that the individual soul is the world’s (or cosmic) soul, and whatever we do as individuals has a great influence on the soul of the world.

      Thanks for stopping by, and lovely to hear your thoughts on this topic – any others, I’m happy to hear them! Have a marvellous weekend! 🙂

      Namaste. Namascray (the crazy in me honours the crazy in you) 😀

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      1. Oh yeah I couldn’t be better!

        Haha I didn’t think I sounded dramatic! I apologize if I did!

        If you visit my blog, you will see I too shed light and awareness 😉

        I said you give me hope because first I haven’t met enlightened and awakened people in a long time. Second of all, I appreciate someone who’s positive about our future.

        However, the world as it is right now is closer to a dystopian future than to an utopian one.

        You see JoJoBean , I was born in what those capitalists like to call a “third world country”.

        Traveling back there makes you realize how we Westerners have no idea what is really going on behind curtains. I think that is our curse and blessing at the same time.

        The effects of capitalism created anarchy overseas like you have no idea because most politicians believe those people are stupid when they know they’re being robbed hence the reasons why they rebel.

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      2. That explains it then – are there really not so many out there? I do not think I am enlightened (yet), but I am definitely aware. Don’t get me wrong – while I understand the teachings of Buddha, and aim to live them as well as I can, there are also other sides to me – like the party animal side 😉 I am not perfect, and while I would love to say that I make all my own clothes, and do all my own gardening, it is just not feasible for me to do that, living in a top floor flat without any outdoor space in the centre of a city! I do however do all recycling and take reusable bags everywhere, not to mention fixing and maintaining a lot of clothes I already own, or converting them into bags or cushions or whatever, clothes I tend to buy online because there are no decent shops over here, but also because a lot of the online stores I visit are fair trade, or organic. I realise I have a carbon footprint doing that, but then when I go shopping I shop local 🙂 I guess I do try to make things balance in other ways!

        Also, I do not see the world as dystopian – I see it as generally quite evenly balanced, between good and evil, yin and yang. I know this may sound weird, and I am SICK of seeing images of the dead and dying all over the world for all the varying reasons, but I also believe that society is only ever shown negative-heavy news stories, and despite what the media wishes us to see, there is A LOT of good happening in the world; we just have to know where to look. Mercy Ship, Bali Life, MSF, WFP, Messengers of Humanity, HH Dalai Lama, Amma (http://amma.org/), and so on…

        I am also of the opinion that responsible capitalism is good for our society, RESPONSIBLE being the operative word here 😉 LOL, even while I would say that I am naturally an anarchist as well as a naturalist.

        Moreover, the demands of the rich have often outstripped the resources in their own countries, and so they turn to the developing (formerly “third world”) countries and demand from them – and poorer people are only too happy to supply, otherwise they will starve to death. It’s like arguing that child labour is a bad thing, but then when I was 12 years old, I had to do paper rounds and extra gardening/pensioner sitting every week because my parents didn’t have any extra money, and I wanted to experience a lot of things that they couldn’t afford, such as buying my own bike so I had the freedom to escape the house whenever possible.

        All I am saying is, there are a multitude of different lives, and therefore different perspectives, and while some would consider having a kettle and electricity as a luxury, others simply expect it to exist in their lives. So there are always different levels, of happiness, sadness, whatever… the most disheartening thing about society, at the end of the day, is that it always feels like there are a greater number of people out there who haven’t got a clue, and aren’t aware, and are just basically out for themselves… they are resorting to the primal “survival of the fittest” way of thinking, even while none of them are actually fighting to survive, but rather just fighting to be noticed.

        Where are you from, incidentally? I love stories, especially people and origin stories 🙂

        Happy Monday, namaste.

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