Buddhism (Pro) or Christianity (Con)
Debate Rounds (5)
The debate is simple enough. Which religion, of the two, is more relevant in our present day 21st century, first world society. Which one offers more truth, and which one is "better" (I left the word open to interpretation, as it will be up to the voters, based on the arguments that both sides give, to decide which one is better in their own terms).
Definition of Truth: the quality or state of being true
Definition of True: agreeing with the facts ; not false
Con agrees to argue for the side of Christianity (any or all sects they wish), and I, Pro, agree to argue from the side of Buddhism (any or all sects I wish).
The Burden of Proof is shared, and the first round is for acceptance only.
For the voters and/or readers, I ask that you please keep an open mind, and consider the arguments, and not let your personal beliefs weigh in too much.
For all of those involved in this debate, Con, readers, and voters, I thank you.
Pro = debating that Buddhism is more relevant to 21 century, first world society
Con = debating that Christianity is more relevant at all times.
Burden of Proof shared.
I agree with the definitions and terms (although I must say I will need to do some more research on Pro's religion).
Voters: take note on what Pro said in R1 about keeping an open mind.
LET THE DEBATING BEGIN!
1.) The Buddhist Worldview
The Buddhist worldview is actually a very viable worldview. It can be summed up in the four seals of the Dharma:
1.) All compounded things are impermanent.
2.) All stained emotions are painful.
3.) All phenomena are empty.
4.) Nirvana is peace.
This worldview is a very viable one in our present day society, as it does not ask for zealous faith in a being, but merely following the way prescribed by it. I won't go into much detail, and this is not my whole argument, as this is just the first round. On Con's turn, I ask Con to outline why they think Christianity is "better".
Buddhism and Christianity are similar in a few ways but not many. The differences are what we must look at to see which is better and more relevant to our lives, thus figuring whether one is true and another is false. Some say that Buddhist teachings and Christianity are compatible, and that one can be a Christian and at the same time adopt Buddhist teachings. The truth is, although you may hear some Buddhists claim that "we believe the same things; there are many paths to God", many fundamental Buddhist teachings are in fact diametrically opposed to those of the Biblical Christianity.
A. Christianity is more feasible than Buddhism. I will explain this in 4 ways.
1.) The Christian Worldview is that the Holy Trinity from the Bible is the Creator of all matter. Science nor any mythical story that Buddhism may entail cannot explain the beginning of time or the creation of life. In Buddhist literature, the belief in a creator god (issara-nimmana-vada) is frequently mentioned and rejected, along with other causes wrongly adduced to explain the origin of the world; as, for instance, world-soul, time, nature, etc. God-belief, however, is placed in the same category as those morally destructive wrong views which deny the kammic results of action, assume a fortuitous origin of man and nature, or teach absolute determinism. In Christianity, the only worthy literature we believe is the Bible, and according to it the beginning of the universe is explained perfectly as well as explained in a way that does not contradict its teachings in any other part of the Bible. Buddhism, however, doesn't have a set book or 'truth' therefore there is nothing to specifically and definitely believe in. In this religion you can't prove the idea true or false because there isn't a SET ideal that all Buddhists believe in, (in contrast to Christians).
2.) The Salvation story is inconsistent in Buddhism while Christianity is consistent and feasible in this way. Rewards and punishments have to do with judgment and accountability, and the Bible does assert that each must give an account to God one day for their actions. God is a loving Creator, and that"s absolutely true. But He is also just, and must punish sin. And we have all sinned, and missed the mark " as the Bible says, "All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). The good news is that those that put their faith in Jesus are not condemned " because they have put their trust in Him " God Himself, who came to earth in the form of man to pay the ultimate penalty for all sine, and rescue His creatures. "For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God " not of works lest any many should boast." (Ephesians 2:8).
Yes, good works are vital, but they are like the fruit of a good tree that is firmly planted. Faith naturally produces good works, or fruit of the Spirit of God guiding us along His path each day. As a result, we reap rewards in this life by helping others, and we grow in character to be more like Christ. Those outside of Christ must give an account one day to God apart from Christ"s saving work on the cross " and can their works save them? Can Buddha"s eight fold path of guidance save? The Bible says no, because the stain of "sin" still remains. "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) - and that name is Jesus.
3.) A Buddha is not an incarnation of a god/God (as claimed by some Hindu followers). The relationship between a Buddha and his disciples and followers is that of a teacher and student. Buddha is a teacher, and his followers are students. To Christians, Jesus is also a great Teacher. But He is ever so much more. "Jesus is Lord" (Phil 3:20) proclaims the Bible in numerous places, and in fact this was a common pronouncement among early Christians. The Bible says that Jesus is the eternal Word of God made flesh (see John chapter 1). We cannot save ourselves from our always-sinful nature. The Bible makes it clear that our own good works will not suffice. As Jesus said, "unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24). Believe and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior " you have nothing to lose, and everything in this life, and in the world to come, to gain!
4.) In Buddhism, the ultimate objective of followers/practitioners is enlightenment and/or liberation from Samsara; rather than to go to a Heaven (or a deva realm in the context of Buddhist cosmology.
According to Wikipedia, Samsara literally means a continuous flow of the cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth/reincarnation. Buddhism preaches that the ultimate goal is to free oneself from that cycle. In contrast, the Bible tells the story of Jesus being the "Good Samaritan" and NOT trying to free oneself from this world. The Bible speaks of not being a part of the transgressions from this world and other sinful worldliness, but this does not imply that we humans should try to escape the world itself! Christians are commanded to work to change the world for the better " to reflect Christ into the world -- and I could give many examples of this happening in the world, putting a good connotation on the word 'Christian.' This proves that what Jesus teaches is more affective and better than the Buddhism object.
Lastly I would like to point out how Karma is unrealistic when we think of it scientifically or historically in context. What's more feasible is that there is cause and effect, and we have genetic inheritance, and choice. In fact, the Bible teaches "God is not mocked " whatsoever you sow that shall you reap also." Suffering is a reality comprehensible for Christians, explained by the fact of sin in the world and a fallen creation. And although there are disasters that occur in this creation that has gone awry, much suffering is brought on by mankind"s own injustice to one another. Christians understand that, so its not a mystery. We also realize that many times suffering brings us closer to the Lord, as we rely on Him through trials to grow our character (see also James 1).
Through all this I hope that all readers have understood why Christianity is more reasonable, realizable, and beautiful than Buddhism. Later on I will provide evidence for the following proposition that "Christianity is more feasible and flawless than ALL religions," but in this debate the main concept will be Buddhism against Christianity.
Thank you and sorry for the long first arguments. ;)
I thank Con for their argument
1.) The Question of Origin
Con asserts that the Holy Trinity is creator of all matter. Con also asserts that the only worthy literature Christians believe in is the Bible. Christianity, when making such claims as origin, delves into the realm of science. Now, I will use the origin of humankind as an example. The Bible states that God created man (Adam and Eve) in his image and placed them in the garden of eden. But science states that mankind evolved from primates, thus giving rise to the theory of evolution. Now, many Christians debate this theory, all on the basis of the Bible. It is fine to question theories, but not due to some zealous preconceived notion that is held from a religious standpoint. These discrepancies in the Bible and science give in to the notion that Christianity cannot offer a scientific worldview, but can offer a spiritual worldview (which every religion offers)
Buddhism, in a sense, does have a set of official books. The Pali Cannon is thought to be the closest book there is that details the words of the Buddha. Now, different sects have different books (while Zen tends to reject scripture all together). What book one follows the closest depends on what sect they chose to associate with.
3.) Christian Standard
Con is arguing using a Christian Standard, instead of looking at practicality. For Con, if anything in Buddhism contradicts Christianity, it is not a viable worldview. I would like to remind Con that not everybody is a Christian.
4.) Jesus vs. The Buddha
Con asserts that Jesus is the son of god (according to the Bible), while the Buddha is just a teacher. First off, I would like to state that I have no ill mentality towards Jesus, and actually admire him greatly for spreading a message of compassion and virtue. But, the divinity of Jesus is asserted only in the Bible, and it is a supernatural claim. But, while Buddhism asserts that the Buddha was an enlightened being, it is not central to its core tenets. Buddhism's aim is the aim to end suffering, and anyone can experiment with its "prescriptions" to see for themselves. Buddhism is open to everyone, since anyone can adopt its tenets without having full faith in its doctrine. But Christianity is an "all- or- nothing" religion, for its underlying premise is that there is a God, and Jesus is the son of said God (which are both supernatural claims), while the underlying tenents of Buddhism are the four seals of dharma, the four noble truths, the eightfold path, and others (such as dependent origination), none of which must be taken on faith, but of which the person can try out for themselves, and see if it works.
Con seems to assert that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is to free oneself from the cycle of rebirth, or samsara. First off, there is many a debate on what reincarnation is (for the Buddha often taught in parables, and one seemed to be reincarnation). Many seem to take this literally, while others take it in a way of, in every moment, you are reborn, with new suffering, and such. ( http://www.buddhanet.net..., and see "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist") Again, this choice is up to the individual practitioner. The ultimate goal in Buddhism is nirvana, which mean "to extinguish". Con might attempt to attach a nihilistic context to nirvana, but what it means to to extinguish the flame of desire and attachment. Nirvana is merely the state in which one eliminates suffering.
Con states how the notion of karma is unrealistic. Karma, in the Buddhist connotation, is seen as cause and effect. If someone does a good thing, there will be a good effect. If someone does a bad thing, there will be a bad effect. Many doctrines are based on the idea of cause and effect, with one such core idea being the "twelve linked chain of dependent causation".
Although I know I have not addressed all of Con's points, Con's main standard of judgement is the Bible, while mine is practicality. The basis of Christianity is supernatural, while the basis of Buddhism are teachings (of how to end suffering). Thus, Buddhism requires less faith than Christianity (because one need not believe in the supernatural), and is more accessible to many people, and more practical, since its method can be tested by people, and adjusted to their preferences (In Zen Buddhism, each disciple is encouraged to find their own way to nirvana).
I assert that the Holy Trinity is Creator of all matter because this is a scientifically backed up and most logical claim; this makes Christianity quite feasible. Because Christianity states solidly and allows only one pure explanation for the beginning of time/matter, it is different than the many non-established Buddhism statements therefore Christianity is more probable and valid.
Pro says: "...science states that mankind evolved from primates, thus giving rise to the theory of evolution. Now, many Christians debate this theory, all on the basis of the Bible. It is fine to question theories, but not due to some zealous preconceived notion that is held from a religious standpoint."
First off, there are two types of science. There is mainstream science, which is the stuff that is taught in most public schools and which is the lessons you learn on discovery channel and what they show on the media. Then there is the pure science--artifacts, chemistry, philosophy/history, astronomy, earth and environmental sciences, and life sciences. These are found and figured, discovered and recorded straight onto documents that we can assert claims and create new statements/facts/truths with. The difference is that mainstream science has a process that the facts go through, and they do not show the original statements to the public, while "pure" science is simply everything that is found and stays the way it was observed. Now, would you agree that The Theory of Evolution is considered mainstream science? There have been countless textbooks that "explain" the Evolutionary system/cycle over many decades. The flaw is that the textbooks are different, and the so-called facts that are explained in the text books CHANGE over years due to new discoveries that disprove what was previously taught/written in the textbooks. This is not a Creationism vs. Evolutionism debate, but let me tell you that "facts of science" is not ONLY evolution. That is what the media makes it out to be, but this is false, because there are two sides to the coin: evolution AND the creation story which also has many abiding facts of science to hold it valid. The Bible has been interpreted many ways, but when you look at it purely and you look at the science/nature straight out, you'll notice that they, too, abide and agree.
Pro says "Christianity cannot offer a scientific worldview,"
I have disproved that by the above.
"...but can offer a spiritual worldview (which every religion offers)"
Yes. Now lets compare Christianity to Buddhism. Buddhism is so flexible and non-strict about it's belief system that there is nothing to really say definitely "oh, Buddhism is the truth in every way." Christianity, however, has a firm belief system (the Bible) and it does not contradict itself in any way. Yes, they are both spiritual, but Christianity offers stringent truth and a practicable salvation story (the salvation is what it's all focused around).
Buddhism MAYBE has a set of books that explain the religion's basis. IN A SENSE there are books that entail the words of Buddha. But the problemo is that the followers choose sects in order to know which ones to read, and there is not a resolute set of beliefs. Christianity has one book and one book only. It includes all the details a Christian (or anybody) needs to know about life, God, the world and Evil, reality, and religion; it is the root to all truth, whereas Buddhism doesn't have that.
"For Con, if anything in Buddhism contradicts Christianity, it is not a viable worldview. I would like to remind Con that not everybody is a Christian."
Well, I hope I don't sound that one-sided, but if I do I would like to remind Pro that I am arguing FOR and on the same side as Christianity. Sometimes, in order to sound convincing, I have to brag about it and preach, and I don't believe that is wrong or bad. However, I see why that may be annoying. Remember, I am simply evaluating the two religions and comparing them in order to present my case as to why Christianity is better.
Pro says "the divinity of Jesus is asserted only in the Bible, and it is a supernatural claim."
He quotes that like it's a bad thing, while in fact it was earlier where he said that Christianity achieves spirituality. Is not spirituality equal, in a way, to being supernatural? And is that not what every religion should be focused on? Perhaps this is where we disagree, because Pro then said "But, while Buddhism asserts that the Buddha was an enlightened being, it is not central to its core tenets. Buddhism's aim is the aim to end suffering, and anyone can experiment with its "prescriptions" to see for themselves."
Here's why Christianity is altogether more fulfilling. The Bible NOT ONLY teaches that we should aim to end suffering (through salvation from Jesus Christ), but it also talks about many other virtues and satisfactions for our lives. More importantly, it explains the reality, how we are completely sinful beings and that there is no way to completely end all the pain and emptiness in our souls without accepting Jesus as our Savior. Buddhism claims that Buddha was "enlightened" but to me this is not enough. He didn't have the salvation, and the things he taught were not always completely true for present day reality.
Pro is correct when saying how Christianity is an 'all-or nothing' religion and Buddhism is not. If a religion only does/preaches what "fits for you," how can it be truthful? This is why Christianity is valid and the only way, truth, and life.
Rebuttal 4 (again)
Please explain to me the ultimate goal of Buddhism, then, because I am plainly confused at the moment. The way I see it is that to YOU, the goal is nirvana, but there are some different Buddhists who have completely different mind sets. I want to hear the truth, not "whatever works for me" as an individual.
Rebuttal 4 (again again)
Some Buddhists state that Karma is simple science such as cause and effect, while other claim that it's spiritual. This site interprets 4 types of Karma. http://omswami.com... This site here shows a different world view on Karma. https://www.thetreeofawakening.com... There is no SET explanation so it's slightly invalid because of this.
"Although I know I have not addressed all of Con's points, Con's main standard of judgement is the Bible, while mine is practicality."
But the Bible is practicality. Have you read it?
"The basis of Christianity is supernatural, while the basis of Buddhism are teachings (of how to end suffering)."
This is not true. The basis of Christianity is the Bible, and inside it preaches how to be saved from this world of suffering and how to have a relationship with God (who is supernatural). The Bible is more than teachings, it is truth and answers to more than just how to end suffering.
If one does not need to believe in the supernatural in Buddhism, so what is the spiritual part of it that entails "all religions" as you (Pro) said earlier? You say Buddhism is more accessible to many people, when actually it has nothing to offer unless you research a whole lot about tenants such as the four seals of dharma, the four noble truths, the eightfold path, and others. The only step to being a Christian is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior be following the teachings of His Word! Buddhism is too flexible to be the true path to righteousness and satisfaction. A true religion has one way and one way only, and Christianity meets that requirement because the only truth is the Bible, while in Buddhism you do whatever you think is right and whatever fits your preference.
That's all for now. Thank you again for your time, Pro!
1.) God of the Gaps
Pro asserts that "the Holy Trinity is Creator of all matter because this is a scientifically backed up and most logical claim". I ask Pro to show the evidence. Pro might say "there has to be a cause for the universe, and that cause is God", or an argument along that line. I would ask "what caused God?". Con would answer "God is self existent". Then could not the universe have come into existence by itself with no God, if God is self existent? What Con is going into is pseudoscience, and all his argument is based on is the God of the Gaps.
I don't want this to turn into an evolution debate, but Con asserted that evolution is mainstream science, and not "pure" science. Here is a definition of science from Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Science: Knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.
Evolution is a theory that has enormous proof behind it. I won't delve deeper, as evolution is not the concern of this debate. Now, let me ask Con what they think of the Greek creation story, or the Hindu creation story. Does it have the same merit in their worldview?
3.) Books.... (Again)
Yes, Buddhism has a set of books, known as the Pali Cannon. It is taught to be the closest source documenting the actual words of the Buddha. But other sects have other books, scholarly books based on their practices. Buddhism offers many alternatives, while Christianity offers dogmatism and blind faith.
4.) Christian Standard
Con asserts that they are arguing for the side of Christianity. The debate here is not whether Buddhism can live up to the Christian worldview, but which, of the two, offers a "better" one.
The definition of Spirituality is a tricky one. There are official definitions, yes, but it could refer to many things. The most common one is that spirituality refers to self betterment and self growth. To Con, it could mean another thing. Again, spirituality tends to be a personal matter, and may mean different things to different people.
6.) Jesus vs. The Buddha (Part II)
Christianity teaches that the only way to end suffering is to accept Jesus Christ as the son of God and savior, and to accept that there is a divine father in the heavens above. Again, this is based on supernatural assertions. But Buddhism encourages doubt and questioning, and not strict dogmatism. There is a story from the Buddhist Scriptures. Once, the Buddha visited the town of Kesaputta. There, the Kalama (the inhabitants of the town) said that there were other religious teachers that visited that town, and preached their doctrine, and disposed all others. The Kalamas asked the Buddha of which one of these many religious teachers spoke the truth. The Buddha responded that, one should not be led by tradition, ancient books, and hearsay. But you should evaluate for yourselves things that are wrong and bad, and dispense of them, and things that are good, and accept them. (Book: "What The Buddha Taught"). Here, The Buddha encourages one to think for themselves, and accept the teachings they see fit and discard the ones they don't see fit. But, Christianity offers no such benefits. If you question Christianity, and think of adopting another ideology, you get killed.
"If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die." -Deuteronomy 13:6-10
7.) Ultimate Goal
The ultimate goal of Buddhism is nirvana. This concept is a basic concept. I was taught this in sixth grade, and again in tenth grade. Just like in Christianity has a goal, so does Buddhism. And that goal is nirvana. To many, nirvana ends the cycle of samsara. But again, Samsara can be rejected if one so wishes it to be, because Buddhism encourages free- thinking.
I urge Con to use their own minds to come to their own conclusion of what Karma actually is. But as a whole, it is a principle of cause and effect.
9.) Accessibility of Buddhism
If one wants to be a Buddhist monk, find your nearest monastery or nearest Buddhist center. If you want to just practice Buddhism, meditate for a couple of minutes everyday, try to discipline your mind, be more kind and compassionate, and see if that works. If it doesn't, Buddhism is not for you. But in Christianity, if you try to leave, or not seek it out,
"All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman." -2 Chronicles 15:13
10.) Path of Buddhism
The path of Buddhism is the path to end suffering. This is accomplished through discipline, meditation, compassion, and detachment. Yes, Buddhism has many paths. But all these paths are meant to reach one goal, and that goal being nirvana, which is the cessation of suffering.
"What the Buddha Taught" -http://www.amazon.com...
There is archeological , historical , scientific , and philosophical  evidence for the God of the Christian Bible and for Jesus Christ whom the Bible talks about. I don't want to make this a debate concerning the existence of a/the God, because this is supposed to be about the gist of the two religions, but we cannot just go and claim that there is zero evidence for a God. I can't leave that subject untouched and go on with the debate so here are four sources that you may look at for your amusement. I also must clear up some assumptions pro made early on, such as that I "claim 100% certainty in all areas of education that God is the cause of the universe," and although that is what I believe, I cannot fully prove this. Arguing the existence of God is a waste of time since no one can prove that God does not exist and no one (but God Himself) can prove that God does exist. The best that either side of this question can do is to present evidence supporting their position. So by showing those links I am presenting evidence that Christianity's Holy Book is accurate and that it's depictions of God is real. Source 5 is an interesting view on the evidence that the Bible, and the God of Bible, is true.
If what I am arguing for is "God of the gaps," then what you are arguing for (Buddhism) is ignorance. You do not have a direct hypothesis of "god" or the beginning of matter/life whereas Christianity holds one specific truth that has yet to be disproved; you do not have any proof for any hypothesizes that your religion makes; nor do you attempt to find truth because you believe that every individual has his own ethics and veracity that you say are not universal.
I agree with you on what science it. But in the last round I was inquiring with you, Pro, if you agree on the two ways science is presented that I described previously.
"Evolution is a theory that has enormous proof behind it."
Yet you provide no examples, no proof, and no explanation behind your assertion. This is because, as I said before, evolution is mainstream and you are only told that evolution has "enormous proof behind it." If you were to look into it yourself, you would find how much evidence there is against it too, and technically, most theories made one century (for example) are usually disproved by the same scientists the next era. New knowledge brings on new interpretations of facts, and this is why Darwin's theory became what it is now even though Charles Darwin's stories were thought of as facts years after he published. 
"Buddhism offers many alternatives, while Christianity offers dogmatism and blind faith."
Two things that you haven't done before making this irrational proposition: shown how there can be "many alternatives" for "truth," and you also need to prove Christianity's truth wrong before calling what we believe "dogmatism." Christians believe what the Bible says not because it makes sense (it doesn't always,) but because it hasn't been disproven and we believe it is God's Word. They are not true Christians if they haven't studied what they believed and compared the facts in order to see for themselves what they believe, and for this reason it is impetuous to make the claim that Christianity is dogmatism. John C. Lennox once said, "Faith is not a leap in the dark; it's the exact opposite...It's a commitment based on evidence. It is irrational to reduce all faith to blind faith and then subject it to ridicule. That provides a very anti-intellectual and convenient way of avoiding discussion." So I ask again, how can "truth" be what it really means if every individual has their own ways of interpreting it? Truth definition: http://www.merriam-webster.com...
"Con asserts that they are arguing for the side of Christianity. The debate here is not whether Buddhism can live up to the Christian worldview, but which, of the two, offers a "better" one."
I don't know if there is a misunderstanding but aren't I supposed to argue on the supposed to argue on the side of Christianity in order to debate? You are on the side for Buddhism, am I correct?
The original version of the word 'spirits' has the connotation of supernatural beings. Nowadays it is referred to usually as the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power.
Christianity, because the belief is that God created us and loves us, usually alludes to that of the supernatural version of "spirits" but it is also tied in with the other definition (the inner being of a person such as emotions and the soul's temper). This is because Christians believe that all life, energy, and power truly comes from the Source, who is God, thus they turn to Him for those attributes. This is logical by the definition because Christ can be described as a "force within a person."
Buddhism, again, has no "truthful" or "false" way to undergo the elements I explained earlier because it is experimental and individual. A big difference between the two religions is that Buddhists don't focus on a "Source" per say or "god," instead they focus on earthy matters. Their "spirits" are not supernatural, normally.
"Christianity teaches that the only way to end suffering is to accept Jesus Christ as the son of God and savior, and to accept that there is a divine father in the heavens above. This is this is based on supernatural assertions."
But you are making assertions yourself by saying it is not true. Prove that God is not real, but you can't, because God is moving, unseen by human eyes yet his evidence is in nature; and still I cannot prove that God IS real because He is supernatural (and we are not). Christianity is based on the Bible. The Bible does not thrust the belief on you in any sort of way; it is your own job to evaluate it. But it has a certain belief, and there is strictly ONE version which cannot be bent or tampered with to make it different. The Bible itself says to defend your faith. 
Gautama Buddha, the founder of what came to be known as Buddhism, lived in Northern India in the 6th century B.C. His personal name was Siddhartha, and family name Gotama. The name 'Buddha' was given to Him after He attained Enlightenment and realized the Truth. This is much more dogmatic than Jesus, who gave us all an invitation to the truth and did not brag, for lack of better term, about any supernatural powers. Jesus only advertised for salvation and true life, while Buddha said he was more "enlightened" than others. Buddha generally called Himself the Tathagata, while His followers called Him Bhagava, the Blessed One. Jesus called himself the "Son of God" and His followers "dischiples" which was not bragging in any way. The beginning of Buddhism all began with a boy's early life. If you think about it, it sounds a bit far-fetched.
When comparing Jesus to Buddha we get interesting results. Buddha was born a prince who seemed to have everything. He had a luxurious upbringing and His family was of pure descent on both sides and he married a beautiful, rich woman. He was the heir to the throne, extremely handsome, inspiring trust, stately and gifted with great beauty of complexion and fine presence. Amidst all this, he got a "vision" (The Four Sights) and decided it was proof he knew the Truth and was "enlightened."
Jesus was born to simple, "poor," inexperienced parents in a manger for hay and grew up as a teacher, humble, yet clearly intelligent in terms of morality, religion, faith, life, and truth. He lived a tough life comparable to any human who troubles with emotion and everyday entanglements. Through it all, he remained faithful to his acclaimed Father God and fulfilled what he was sent to walk a human life to do: he was a Savior through the crucifixion which He is most known for. Jesus suffered to pay the price of our sins and to let us enter Heaven; Buddha died of old age after making people believe he was "Enlightened" by seemingly appealing and logical sayings of so-called truths.
1 Peter 3:15 "But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." Deuteronomy proves nothing on Pro's side to show how Christians "get killed" if they question the truth. I question what any book says before I believe it and I also personally know many skeptical people who have become Christians.
I realize Pro's definition of Karma and I agree. I don't agree that Karma is the ultimate reason for everything that happens, because I think God was the "cause" while creation (which led to sin and death) was the "effect."
9.) More Rebuttals
"If you want to just practice Buddhism, meditate for a couple of minutes everyday, try to discipline your mind, be more kind and compassionate, and see if that works. If not, Buddhism is not for you."
In a nut shell, Pro says that Buddhism is just working to be nicer and gentler. That's what 'nirvana' is and it's what Buddha supposedly taught. Christianity teaches much more than virtues.
There has not been any real refutations from Pro, however I enjoy hearing his arguments. In this round I explained how C is better and more plausible than B. I look forward to the final round!
I looked at all the sources provided by Con for evidence, and all of them belong to Christian websites. This gives rise to pseudoscience, or the twisting of fact to support a belief. I would personally love to see a scientific website which gives evidence for Christianity, not a Christian website.
Buddhism (at least the one perpetrated by The Buddha) didn't delve into speculation, but only a way to end suffering. If one wants to know about the universe, nature, or life (biology), I highly suggest they consult a science book. Not a religious book, but a science book. If one wants to know how the universe came to be (why there is something rather than nothing), I suggest you learn physics, and try to discern this great mystery for yourself, and all of mankind.
Here is a site showing proof of evolution. I won't go into detail, as this isn't an evolution debate.
Con states that science disproves previous theories. Yes, science evolves to make new discoveries. Actually, a lot of things Darwin originally said about evolution were incorrect, but so far, he had the correct gist. Yes, Science changes. But shouldn't scientific claims the Bible makes also be subject to change? After all, if the Bible is science, it should be subject to change. But if it were to change, it would mean that it wasn't the word of God, since God is omniscient, or all knowing. Thus, if the Bible was wrong, it wouldn't be the word of God. So, if the bible cannot be subject to change, the Bible is not scientific, for it cannot be improved upon.
3.) Blind Faith
When something challenges Christianity, Christians tend to fight back. Science is a great example. Look at the history of how the Church persecuted Scientists and prohibited theories set forth that contradicted biblical teachings. The story of Galileo is a great example. Con also states that someone is not a true Christian if they don't study and evaluate the Bible. I ask Con, how can you set the standard to what a true Christian is? Can't only God do that?
4.) Christian Standard
Yes, we are arguing for our respective ideologies. But, you tended to hold Buddhism up to a Christian Standard, meaning if anything went against Christian teachings, it wasn't worthy of being "good".
5.) The Buddha vs. Jesus
Buddhism does have a basis. It does have a source. That source is the teachings of The Buddha, and his teachings can be found in the Pali Cannon. By many different ways, I mean many different sects that have different practices and differing teachings, but still based on the core teachings of The Buddha. There is Zen, Tantric, Tibetan, Theravada, and many more.
The Bible actually does thrust its belief in you. If one does not believe, they are condemned (to hell, I presume),
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:16
Con seems to make some wrong assumptions about The Buddha. The Buddha did not claim superiority over others. A belief in Buddhism is that everyone has the Buddha Nature, or the potential to become a Buddha (an enlightened person). In Buddhist stories, there are many accounts of people rising to Arhants, and then becoming enlightened. The Buddha also did not brag, for he did not say that only he could deliver a person to nirvana. Quote the Buddha "You should do your own work, for the Tathagatas only teach the way." You see, The Buddha said he discovered a path towards salvation, but each individual must walk the path themselves. Jesus said that he was the only path to salvation, and the only way to get salvation is to believe in him. You see, The Buddha also didn't want someone to follow the path proposed by him blindly. In the Vimamsaka Sutta, The Buddha tells the monks ( in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the Buddha says he never thought of controlling the community of monks) to examine him (The Buddha) and his teachings, so that they would be fully convinced of the value of his teachings. It is even said that on his deathbed, The Buddha asked his disciples to question him on his teachings, so they could clarify some points. But, they did not, in respect to their dying teacher. And think about it. The Buddha gave up royalty to teach people how to end suffering. And he got no gain out of that. He gave up his life of pleasure and luxury to help other people. The Buddha also stated, in his visit to Kesaputta (which I account in a previous round), he told the people not to be persuaded by tradition or religious text, but by analyzing and using ones free thought. He encouraged free thought, unlike Christianity, which asks for blind faith (as shown in the Biblical quote and other arguments). Also, Con has yet to show how the passage from Deuteronomy is not relevant.
In my rebuttals to Con's arguments, I have made my case for Buddhism (I know I did not make an entire section for "case for Buddhism"). I hope the voter sees how much more relevant Buddhism is in our modern day, 21st century, first world society, and how it is "better" than Christianity.
I would like to thank the readers, the voters, and especially LaughItUpLydia for this great debate. This debate also means more, as it shows how two people of opposing ideologies can still have a civil debate without having to resort to petty insults and other "stuff" (for lack of a better word). Again, I sincerely thank LaughItUpLydia.
I again ask the voters to keep an open mind, and again, thank you.
My opponent asserts that all my sources are pseudoscience and unreliable. First off, this is not true, unless Pro can point out what is wrong with my sources besides that they support my points and this upsets Pro. Also, my opponent didn't use any sources that actually helped prove his point during this last round (he only used 2, 1 of 2 which was actually relevant), ergo bias sources shouldn't matter in the end.
Secondly I would like to add how easily one can get carried away in a debate. I like the topics this has branched off into, but ones such as "evolution" and "scientific evidence" aren't completely relevant and we should save them for another time. However, I would like to rebut what Pro has said, so forgive me. :)
The reason Christianity is more relevant than Buddhism to people in our modern day is because we know we can't be utterly holy and "sin-less," so our salvation comes not from our own works but from God's love which we must accept to be saved. Ask any Buddhist and they will tell you that, in fact, it hasn't actually happened that they achieve "nothingness" or "Nirvana." Why? Because it's impossible. Christianity has it's guidelines but the salvation we don't achieve salvation by doing what's supposedly good; read the Bible and you'll see what it's all about. Buddhism has no specific guidelines therefore nothing that people can call "truth" besides individuality, which is an awkward stance that does/proves nothing.
Speculation on scientific evidence is sometimes necessary, but with Buddhism they do not care to seek the truth about the science of matter and origin. Christianity's main goal is salvation from earthy transgressions which take us farther from the Holy God. But, concerning the Bible (God's Word), Creation Scientists have the job of finding evidence that delve into speculation. The facts of science can prove the Bible, and that is one reason why we take effort into this area of seeking truth. We can look at the facts of science and see how they fit with what the historically accurate Bible says, because it reveals things that we want to know. The Bible is not only historically accurate, but it also follows suit with science, whereas Buddhism has no books to show a specific truth on mysteries that I'm sure Buddhists wish they had answers to. This site explains why Creationism is important to a lot of Christians. http://creation.com...
Pro says "Con states that science disproves previous theories. Yes, science evolves to make new discoveries."
No, I believe it's 'discoveries change certain things and it makes new science.' This is what has happened ever since we started MAKING discoveries. Charles Darwin has been disproved in most aspects due to new discoveries; scientific theories have evolved over the years due to the same thing. Now, not ALL science changes. Some facts remain facts no matter what new discoveries we make. As long as the Bible stays accurate with our discoveries in science, it is not disproved.
Christians rely on the Bible for truth about our world and the creations within. The Bible doesn't contradict anything science tells us and this is one reason why we believe it's the truth. Buddhists don't even try to create a truth-value. They don't have any proof that Buddha was what the books/stories say, while Christians have proof for the things Jesus did.
If we had more rounds, I would ask Pro to explain what he means by Christians persecuting scientists, because obviously that doesn't happen nowadays and science has its own path through the public. Perhaps Pro is right about what some Christians did in the past, but this is a debate about Christianity vs. Buddhism, not Christians vs. Buddhists. Also I would ask Pro to see what he thinks of the contents of this site: http://christiananswers.net...
Pro says "...how can you set the standard to what a true Christian is? Can't only God do that?"
We know because of the Bible (and true prophets, but we won't get into that), what the standards of a true Christian is. The Bible is the only Holy Book of Christianity thus we look to it for any answers we might need about the religion. Yes, only God sets the standards, but we know what they are because of God's Word. Our Creator explains to us what we need to do and who we need to be
That's the difference between Christianity and all other religions: in order to be saved, the only thing we have to do is ask Jesus to lead our lives and we must repent. There are no religions like this, and most other religions have a certain list of duties or rules we must act upon physically in order to have full salvation. Christianity is correct because it is quite obviously impossible to be absolutely pure in our actions (following all the rules, not lying, not thinking dirty thoughts) all the time. Because of our sinful nature, the only way to be free from sin and go to Heaven is to ask for Jesus to come into your life and to accept God's gift of love. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Buddhism's "salvation" is Nirvana, as my opponent has already stated. But this is done through earthly works, even though it is impossible to be completely "holy" or non-sinful. http://www.evangelical.us...
Thank you, Pro, again for this amazing debate of ours. I think we have all become more educated by participated in reading/debating, and I hope voters see which one had a better debate overall!
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