Talk:Buddhism

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References[edit]

Removed Criticism subsection[edit]

I have removed the criticism and apologetic section. There was criticism of Buddhist doctrine, but it is neither frequent nor it has been accurate in last few decades.

When this section was inserted to the article, it was simply because the Criticism of Buddhism was long, with citations citing some of the SPS and personal blogs. It is not big anymore. Bladesmulti (talk) 02:27, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Frequent? Don't understand. I've restored the section for now. How is it not accurate? --NeilN talk to me 02:35, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Pope Benedict XVI's profession is to speak against all religions except his own. His opinion cannot be considered as constructive criticism. 3rd paragraph is not really criticism. Bladesmulti (talk) 03:03, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Trimmed. What do you think about incorporating some of the "Women in Buddhism" criticism in the child article into here? --NeilN talk to me 03:13, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
It will work. Bladesmulti (talk) 04:50, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ad Stuart Lachs. His criticism of Japanese Zen has been influential. And there's fundamental criticism on "guruism" in (Zen)Buddhism, also by Stuart Lachs, among others. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:54, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the remarks of Pope Benedict XVI, and I say this as a non-Catholic, his argument was a valid criticism of some aspects of some branches of the Buddhist faith. Naturally as the leader of a rival religion, he will criticize other faiths but that does not mean that what he says is automatically untrue or unworthy of mention. What is more, in criticism of religion, his opinion is valid, in that it represents a sober critique of the Buddhist faith on a par with the criticism of Christianity by Shinto priest Guji Yukitaka Yamamoto. If I could find relevant criticisms of Buddhism from other religious leaders I would add them as well, and vice versa. When I first added the section Criticism and Apologetics, I did so to ensure that the article on Buddhism shared common features with those of other religion articles, including those for Christianity, Islam, et cetera. No religion is above criticism, as much as some fundamentalists of every religion, and indeed militant atheists, might wish it to be the case.

At the same time it is equally vital to combine criticism with apologetics, so that from a common reference people can find answers to the criticisms proffered by others. The goal of Wikipedia, as an NPOV encyclopedia, must be to expose this information as transparently and elegantly as possible, without prejudice either for or against the subject matter.

Pursuant to this I am going to reconstruct the section based on your feedback, and the criteria outlined above. For the moment I am going to restore it and then as I see it we can jointly co-edit it until we are satisfied, but for me including Ratzinger's opinion, and also including apologetics, is vital. What I would eventually like to do is create a standard model for criticism sections related to religion, and apply them to every religion article and to the articles on atheism and agnosticism. That would give us complete fairness, and would elegantly reflect the diversity of opinion on this most interesting of subjects.

Wgw2024 (talk) 20:32, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

I've split Criticism and Apologetics into two separate sections, restored the Ratzinger's quote, and deleted references to news items, like Bhutan's purge of non-Buddhists, which are not strictly speaking criticism of the religion, but rather evil acts conducted in its name.

Wgw2024 (talk) 20:45, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

This is not soapbox. Something done in its name cannot be criticism towards religion. Pope's main aim is to generate followers for his own sect. How his criticism could be constructive? Bladesmulti (talk) 02:03, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Criticism does not have to be constructive. Competing views are just as valid for an encyclopedia article. --NeilN talk to me 02:53, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Although I had found the criticism from 14th Dalai Lama to be pretty well for the article. If we can add Pope's research, we can summarize it, not to add quote. Bladesmulti (talk) 03:18, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

I've reverted Bladesmulti's reversion as it does not appear to reflect the consensus. Pope Benedict's opinion carries weight on the basis of his status as a theologian and does not require citations to support it; the subject matter is subjective and impossible to prove. There is a necessary element of polemics in any criticism of religion, and Wikipedia must transparently expose this criticism to avoid bias and provide a solid information base.

Now, more importantly, I reverted Bladesmulti's deletion of the Apologetics section. Bladesmulti, for reasons unknown, keeps deleting that vitally important section, which has nothing to do with criticizing Buddhism, and which does not contain any content mirrored elsewhere on the Wiki. Apologetics are vital, and we need an apologetics section.

Now at this point, I can do nothing further, and nor can Bladesmulti; we are both at the threshold of the three-reversion rule and any further reversion on either of our parts would constitute an edit war. The ball is in NeilN's court to resolve this issue, or to simply do nothing, for the next 24 hours. I'm going to walk away from this for a week or so to avoid even the temptation to edit war with Bladesmulti, and hope that NeilN and other editors of this page act correctly to preserve relevant content and ensure that the criticism of Buddhism presented is balanced and of the same quality as the criticism sections on the pages describing other major world religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, et cetera).

Wgw2024 (talk) 12:38, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Wgw2024 It is irrelevant propaganda and I don't see how you agree with NeilN. He did his job. If you can read and hear, you have seen that NeilN himself trimmed it. It has been already told that "Beyond Belief is a book which refutes the arguments..." or "In the mid-19th century, encounters between Buddhists and Christians in Japan prompted"(unsourced) have nothing to do with the article. If you are going to add something, propose here first. I can agree about adding criticism from 14th Dalai Lama and little summary from Pope, but anything else is just irrelevant. Bladesmulti (talk) 12:55, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Bladesmulti has violated the three-edit rule and is now technically edit warring. However I will hold off for six hours before reporting him, to allow for him to restore the deleted Apologetics section. The Pope Benedict quote can be left out for the time being since it seems to be the main bone of contention, although I maintain that Bladesmulti's rationale for excluding it is both unfair and illogical.

Wgw2024 (talk) 13:01, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

3rr is 3 revert under 24 hours. In last 24 hours I have made 2 reverts. But that is not even a point. Till now, I have agreed with opinion of these 2 people but not really with the encounters or famous apologetic. Bladesmulti (talk) 13:08, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

@Wgw2024: I'd like to see your version of the reconstructed section, incorporating the feedback given earlier. --NeilN talk to me 13:22, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

NeilN, I can't make any changes to this part of the article now for the next 24 hours at least due to the bright line 3 edit rule, which I fear Bladesmulti may have already violated. However, what I would suggest is the apologetics section be restored without modification, and the Criticism section expanded to feature the Dalai Lama's self-criticism of the violence of certain monks (even if this is not criticism of the religion per se, which is why I trimmed it), the material from Women in Buddhism referenced earlier, and a summary of Pope Benedict's quote, if not the actual quote itself. I'm not a controversialist and I don't want to cram that quote down anyone's throat; if Buddhists reading this article find it hugely offensive rather than a useful information resource then far be it from me to force it upon them. There is a need for sensitivity in these matters. I would urge you to construct, based on this feedback, a revised section, but also to simply restore the Apologetics section as is, because I see nothing about it that could be construed as remotely controversial, since after all, it simply cites various movements and individuals who have sought to, through the discipline of religious apologetics, a worthy field of endeavor, defend the doctrines, history, and praxis of the Buddhist faith.

Wgw2024 (talk) 13:36, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

I don't have problem with Dalai Lama's view, but what he was saying is more about the Myanmar conflict. Not really Buddhism.
I have already told you about the pope. I wouldn't have problem, but it is better to summarize. Or if you can find more than one pope being critical to Buddhism, we can say "popes have criticized".
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/beyond-belief02.pdf - not a true reliable citation. No where this whole pdf has words like "Apologetic", "The Debate of King". Source was misrepresented.
19th century encounters is unsourced for a while now. Bladesmulti (talk) 13:45, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

I myself object to the quote of the Dalai Lama as I view it as being not an actual criticism of Buddhism but of the actions of Buddhists. I do not agree with your opinion on the apologetics, what apologetics means is material written in defense of the Buddhist faith, and this article needs it. Re summarizing the Popes remarks, that is fine with me. While I am not aware of any Popes before Benedict specifically engaging with Buddhist theology, there was a clear aversion to it; a reading of the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that historically most Catholics dismissed the Buddhist faith as idolatry, If you implement the changes you just outlined I am prepared to withdraw my charge of edit warring.

Wgw2024 (talk) 14:10, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

How kind! But there was no edit-warring, only a miscalculation. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:14, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I like the quote from the pope, and the comment by Schmidt-Leukel. It's a correct observation, I'd say. So, I don't mind to restore Wgw's edit. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:20, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Underconstruction... Can you propose a summary? It is just a quote(on pope's side) right now. I can agree with adding these two. Bladesmulti (talk) 14:27, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Bladesmulti: In the context of this article a summary (!) of criticism may be appropriate (like the criticism section of Islam). I don`t think that the quote from the pope is helpful in a summary. Wgw2024 might try to introduce this quote in the Criticism of Buddhism article. I can`t follow how the statement from the Dalai Lama does contribute to the criticism of Buddhism, it seems to be a criticism of violent buddhists in Myanmar. JimRenge (talk) 14:42, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Just to reiterate, I share in the consensus that the Dalai Lama's quote is irrelevant; the Dalai Lama was clearly criticizing the violence of some Buddhists, but not the religion itself. Thus, it does not belong in the Criticism section, unless the point of the Criticism section is merely to smear Buddhism, which I would be the first to object to. I do maintain that the Pope's opinion is valid however; the Pope expresses a legitimate concern that many Westerners have with some aspects of Buddhist spirituality; I feel it should be included, ideally along with a response by an eminent Buddhist scholar. I would also love to see if anyone is familiar with any in depth criticism of Buddhism from a Hindu or Jain, because I feel that would really add some perspective to the article.

I have withdrawn for the time being the charge of edit warring against Bladesmulti in the interest of reconciliation and getting this fixed, however, if he reverts anyone else's attempts to restore or otherwise re-implement the criticism section I will reinstate it.

Wgw2024 (talk) 15:16, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

When Kardinal Ratzinger gave this interview to the French newspaper L`Express, he was not the pope but the precept of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.
The quote is: "If Buddhism is attractive, it is because it appears as a possibility of touching the infinite and obtaining happiness without having any concrete religious obligations. A spiritual auto-eroticism [...] of some sort." Since spiritual autoeroticism is synonymous with spiritual masturbation, this polemic may be seen as an insult by buddhists who honestly try to comply with the rules and obligations of their faith (Five Precepts for lay people and Prātimokṣa for monastics etc.).
WP:Quote states: "Where a quotation presents rhetorical language in place of more neutral, dispassionate tone preferred for encyclopedias, it can be a backdoor method of inserting a non-neutral treatment of a controversial subject into Wikipedia's narrative on the subject, and should be avoided." JimRenge (talk) 17:25, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

There are things more offensive than that to Muslims on the Islam page and to Christians on the Christianity page. Buddhism cannot expect preferential treatment. What is more, it should be clear that Ratzinger was speaking of certain Buddhist traditions that emphasize effortless acquisition of enlightenment, as opposed to the more rigorous schools. Ratzinger remains one of the most important religious figures to have commented on Buddhism, and the fact that he did so as the head of what was at one time the dreaded Inquisition makes it even more interesting and relevant. I would love to read whatever Ayatollah Khameni had to say about it, even though it would probably vitriolic bile, it would still be interesting and worthy of mention. Wgw2024 (talk) 21:08, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

There's no evidence that Ratzinger is a reliable source on Buddhism, or that his statement reflects a significant viewpoint, so the quote may not belong to begin with. But, beyond this, Schmidt-Leukel, the source for the Ratzinger quote, clarifies that it "was apparently meant as a critique of certain forms of the Western reception of Buddhism..." Leo Lefebure says the comment could be taken as indicting certain contemporary Western distortions of Buddhism rather than the Buddhist tradition itself."[1] So, the quote may not fall within the scope of the article.
If the quote is left in, the wording "certain Western forms" should be corrected to "certain forms of the Western reception". Fearofreprisal (talk) 08:31, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

At this point, after some reflection, I am of the opinion that the quote is better omitted. To understand where Bladesmulti was coming from, I put myself in the shoes of a Buddhist, and realized that Ratzinger appears to essentially accuse them of spiritually masturbating, and given that in many schools of Buddhism such activity is considered sexual misconduct, I have concluded that the quote, while important, is inherently offensive, and furthermore does as you say apply more to the Western reception of Buddhism than to the Eastern praxis of it. What is more, one could level a similar charge at the Western reception of other Eastern religions.

I propose that we move forward with the integration of the relevant content from Women in Buddhism into criticism as was discussed previously. I do believe an apologetics section is strongly warranted however. There is a need in this article for a review of the main apologists of the Buddhist faith, both ancient and contemporary. I want to see what the Buddhists had to say about Hinduism, Jainism, Confucianism, Shintoism, et cetera, and what they have to say about Christianity and Islam. I want to see this from credible sources who have a legitimate voice in Buddhism, but this represents the threshold of my expertise.

Wgw2024 (talk) 23:42, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

I think that many Buddhists would agree wholeheartedly with the quote: any search for enlightenment that's only about ones personal relief is a form of auto-eroticism. After all, "enlightenment" is about diminishing self-concern, and working for the greater good. But alas, your concerns are well-appreciated, and are to be preferred. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:59, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Adding Middle Way to lead[edit]

Shall I add "(also known as the Middle Way)." after "by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path" or does that make the sentence too long? eu.stefan (talk) 18:12, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Not really long. Bladesmulti (talk) 10:03, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I have added it then. eu.stefan (talk) 13:40, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

wierd[edit]

buddism is wierd — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.217.157.2 (talk) 20:27, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Very wierd indeed. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:12, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Template switcharound[edit]

Hi. I looked at the navbox stack and saw three templates - 'Buddhist topics' , 'Gautama Buddha', and 'Religion' - tucked into a hidden navbox list. The exposed templates were the Buddhism-in-(your choice of continent here). So I played with it, brought the templates out of the hidden-box, moved template 'Buddhism topics' to the top template slot, and left Gautama Buddha and Religion where they were. To me it flowed better, got more info near the top, and when I looked at the page it looked very nice - the colors, length of the phrasing, the aesthetics which seem to go well together when something is "right". Just some explanation of the "whys" of the edit. Does it seem okay to the long-time editors? Thanks. Randy Kryn 3:44 6 November, 2014 (UTC)

Later, have made a navbox stack with the title 'Buddhism by country' and put the five continent templates, which are just names of countries anyway, into that stack. Better. Randy Kryn 4:42 6 November, 2014 (UTC)

Dubious statement[edit]

Buddhism#Life of the Buddha

What is really dubious about it? I think it was tagged because Karen had doubted the historicity, what if we can add another quote about his historicity? Slightly favorable one. Bladesmulti (talk) 06:23, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

The historicity of the Buddha is a long-standing topic, as far as I know. But most scholars seem to agree that he existed, somehow (hear the irony of this sentence...). Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:47, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
[Here's the diff] of the insertion of the tag. Edit summary: "important facts on the history of buddhism should be cited from a reputed scholar on buddhism" Andi 3ö (talk) 01:24, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Armstrong could be replaced, or supplemented, by Gombrich. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:40, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Request for comment on reliable secondary sources for articles on Buddhism[edit]

Please see: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Buddhism — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dorje108 (talkcontribs) 22:28, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Buddhism: Definition[edit]

Articles on Buddhism Gautama Buddha and Faith are all inaccurate. It is not possible to correct them without rewriting them from the beginning. What is given are mere opinions and thus are biased. They all stem from the problem fact that there is no God in Buddhism yet exhibit the characteristic of a religion.

Here is suggestion to get out of the problem.

All Buddhists, irrespective of their tradition, location on the planet earth, race, caste, creed claim that their religion is based on the teaching of the Buddha.

The above statement is a fact. The statement is neutral and free from bias.

What is common about different Buddhist traditions is they all venerate the Buddha. It is more accurate to say they venerate Buddho Bhagava not the Buddha. Buddha is an English word. I shall therefore use the term Bhagvan Buddha from now onwards. It means Teacher Buddha or Lord Buddha because Bhagwan means Lord.

There are certain traditions that worship the Buddha in addition to veneration. Example, some Mahayana sects. In the Theravada tradition, Buddhist only venerate. They do not worship.

I stress what I have above all facts and are verifiable.

If people are willing to accept the above one line defintions can be written.

Example. Lord Buddha is a Teacher (Teacher who lived) about 2500 years ago in India in what is presently known as Nepal.

Buddhist: One who venerates Lord Buddha.

Buddhism: All those who venerate Lord Buddha.

Saddha: Devotion (pure and simple) (Buddhist scholars do not understand this. Simple Buddhists all over the world. Comment 1: Use of faith has created all the problems in the study of Buddhism

Note: There are and there will be no references for what I have given above except the Oxford Dictionary of English for Definitions of the few English words I have used. For example, Buddha, Buddhism, Theravada, Mahayana.

A corollary of the above is Sanskrit word Sraddhaa does not mean faith. It means Bhakti.

Interpretation of Saddha — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dgdcw (talkcontribs) 11:55, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Buddhism: Definition[edit]

Articles on Buddhism Gautama Buddha and Faith are all opinions. It is not possible to correct them without rewriting them from the beginning. What is given as definitions are mere opinions and thus are biased. They all stem from the problem:there is no God in Buddhism yet exhibit the characteristic of a religion.

Here is a suggestion to get out of the problem.

All Buddhists, irrespective of their tradition, location on the planet earth, race, caste, creed claim that their religion is based on the teaching of the Buddha.

The above statement is a fact. The statement is neutral and free from bias.

What is common about different Buddhist traditions is they all venerate the Buddha. It is more accurate to say they venerate Buddho Bhagava not the Buddha. Buddha is an English word. I shall therefore use the term Lord Buddha from now onwards. It means Teacher Buddha or Lord Buddha because Bhagwan means Lord.

There are certain traditions that worship the Buddha in addition to veneration. Example, some Mahayana sects. In the Theravada tradition, Buddhist only venerate. They do not worship.

I stress what I have above are all facts and are verifiable.

If editiors are willing to accept the above one line defintions can be written.

Example. Lord Buddha is a Teacher (Teacher who lived) about 2500 years ago in India in what is presently known as Nepal.

Buddhist: One who venerates Lord Buddha.

Buddhism: All those who venerate Lord Buddha.

Saddha: Devotion (pure and simple devotion of traditional villagers.Buddhist scholars do not understand this. Simple Buddhists all over the world do. They do not discuss the philosophy of the Buddha) Comment 1: Use of faith for Saddha in has created all the problems in the study of Buddhism.

Note: There are and there will be no references for what I have given above except the Oxford Dictionary of English for Definitions of the few English words I have used. For example, Buddha, Buddhism, Theravada, Mahayana.

A corollary of the above is Sanskrit word Sraddhaa does not mean faith. It means Bhakti.

Interpretation of Saddha and Sradda as faith is the Western perception of Buddhism and Hinduism. And misinterpreted both religions to the world.

All the above ideas are mine and solely mine. I daren't give the responsibility to any body else. The definitions above will require labelling almost all the information under the articles as opinions. Example, Kalama Sutta. All misinterpretations of a Dhamma-desana of Lord Buddha.

I am more than willing to answer any question from the editors, or even others. Dgdcw (talk) 12:31, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

If all the editors without exception agree to the above, I shall present these ideas to Wikipedia.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'presenting them to Wikipedia'. In terms of your root definition, I'm not so certain that the distinction between veneration and worship is actually observed- it's a rather fine distinction that I think makes sense only if you accept certain underlying premises that are associated with particular monotheist dogma. I think the general plan of moving the intros on these articles a bit closer to the dictionary definitions is a good one, but the issue of bhakti vs. saddha as devotion vs faith would certainly require a more complete reference than that, particularly if the translation as something other than 'devotion' has sources in the recognized references (I know that the PED is not that highly esteemed by some, but don't know anything about specific disputes over the translation of this term) I would also encourage you to try out writing some of these introduction in userspace or a talk page- rewrites of the intros in these topics are always fraught and I do think that there is material in the existing introductions that should be kept to provide a more complete context than the dictionary definition. However, I've long advocated identifying the traditions as being united most specifically by the fact that they all trace their origin to the teachings of the historical Buddha- that at least puts an end to the argument over whether we are talking about one tradition or more than one.--Spasemunki (talk) 09:46, 18 December 2014 (UTC)