ad


JustThinking

Main Index

Longer Articles:

Home

Anselm's Explanation of the Trinity
How can the Father, Son and Holy Spirit each be God, but not be each other? This is Archbishop Anselm's explanation - the best I've heard so far.

Anselm at Starbucks
A new look at Anselm's argument for the existence of God.

The Divine Inferno
Why the existance of Hell is a demonstration of God's mercy.

1000 Easter Balloons
What if, on Easter Sunday morning, after services, every church in town released yellow balloons?

Scary Meditation
What is the difference between Eastern meditation and Christian meditation?

The Golfer of the Gaps
Have you heard that our God is a "God of the Gaps," only invoked to explain increasingly small gaps in science? Here's that logic applied to golf.

Esther's Japanese Origins
Using the approved "wild extrapolation" method, I've conclusively shown that the Biblical Book of Esther is of Japanese origin.

But I Was Born That Way
When people use this excuse, why do we keep trying to talk them out of it?

Digital Reality
Is reality digital? I couldn't care less, but if it is, maybe that's one point for the theistic view.

Church Economics
It's kind of fun to see companies becoming successful using the kind of financing churches have used for ages.

Legislating Morality
You can't legislate morality! Really? If you can't legislate morality, what can you legislate?

Paganism in Christmas and Easter?
A writer thought I ought to stop celebrating Christmas and Easter. It had pagan origins, he said. So what, I replied.

Shooting the Wounded
In which I launch a diatribe against a phrase I find particularly shallow and offensive.

Evolving Computers
What computers do - or don't - show us about evolution.

Are All Religions the Same?
A Buddhist's view.

Are All Religions the Same?

No, if you want the short answer, they're not. But if you don't want the short answer, here's a longer one.

A while ago I was reading the Summer, 1997, edition of a freebie Buddhist publication I happened upon at a coffee shop, called Free Spirit, which had an interview with the Dalai Lama.

In a question and answer article, the writer asked - hoping for an affirmative response, I thought - "Do all religions lead to the same place?"

"No," the Dalai Lama responded, "Christianity believes that after death there is a final judgment and that salvation means one reaches the presence of God and heaven. According to Buddhism," he added, "enlightenment means complete purification, a completely purified mental state. More precisely, ultimate enlightenment means emptiness of mind."

Next to the "emptiness of mind" comment, the editor helpfully added in brackets, "[Which means the interconnectedness of all things.]" Interesting that the editor thought a man as articulate as the Dalai Lama needed an explanation of what he meant.

Anyway, the author of the article was not going to give up so easily, and in his next comment suggested that "Perhaps Christianity and Buddhism just describe the same place [Heaven/Nirvana] differently."

"I don't think so," the Dalai Lama responded. "In Buddhism ... there is hardly any place to accept or believe in a soul and creator. Once one accepts the idea of a creator, that is absolute. A creator does not depend on another factor. It is absolute. So therefore, it is difficult for Buddhism and Christianity to come together."

What makes this so interesting to me is that I've heard this "All religions lead to the same destination" thought many a time, almost always from people with a Buddhist or New Age outlook.

So to hear the Dalai Lama come right out and say that Buddhism is just flat different from Christianity, and in what way it is different, was quite refreshing.

Thank you, Dalai Lama.



© Copyright 2000 Brad Haugaard