Critical Thinking Assignment
I. Part One :
1. The question of Origin –
According to Dr. Weider and Dr. Gutierrez (2013), Buddhism is a variety of Pantheism. In essence, “Their basic beliefs include the concepts that all that exists is a part of god, used in the sense that the Universe is sacred” (Consider, 2013, p. 63). That is to say, Buddhists believe that God and the universe are equal. Buddhist do not give respect to any type of personal god as creator, but in contrast see god as an impersonal being without any type of humanistic characteristics. This being said, Buddhist sees the world as not really having a beginning, that everything has always existed and “is a part of god” (Consider, 2013, p. 65). Furthermore, for a Buddhist, the goal is to reach a state of nothingness known as Nirvana. For this reason, “It is only the end of suffering” (Powell, 1989, p. 28), and could even be looked at “as a waste of time to think about where we came from” (Lefebvre, 2011).
2. The question of Identity –
Buddhist do not identify with a god or even consider a god’s existence to be important (Halverson, 1992, p.5). Ed Hindson and Ergun Canor (2008) referred to god as “a life force or energy” (The popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, 2008, p. 115). In contrast, Buddhists believe that man’s own identity is what is important to examine. Reincarnation is the cycle of life over and over. With this in mind, the Buddhists believe “what comes around goes around” (Weider and Gutierrez, 2013, p. 67), otherwise known as karma. Buddhists want to attain good karma, which leads to a state of nirvana. Additionally, they want to be free from bad karma and the continued existence of reincarnation. As a final point, the Buddhist sees man as higher on the chain of command to animals only because of man’s ability to teach. For example, Mahayana Buddhism teaches that Buddhist who has reached enlightenment or salvation can refuse nirvana and...