Eder Armando Garcia World Religions Mr. Wayne Knight Christianity V. Buddhism The concept of God within Christianity differs depending on the angle one chooses to look upon it. The Trinitarian concept of god breaks it down into 3 separate parts all of which are acting in unison. The first part is God; the father in this form god is a loving father figure who acts like a loving parent who has his children’s best interest at heart. In the second part God, the son he is Jesus a son of god who was sent to our world to die for all of our sins.
In the last form God is the Holy Spirit this is his final and current form currently on our planet keeping our planet in balance until Jesus returns to earth to call his people home. The three different forms of god are seen as godhead for three different persons within the same eternal being. Although similar in history the traditional form of god believed by most modern Christians is that of a loving all-knowing being who is without flaw. This tangible entity has existed for all of time and is the beginning, middle and end of all eternity.
He is seen as a loving but jealous being that looks to cultivate a loving caring world having to step in and correct problems when they occur. This god is usually prayed directly too as many Christians strongly believe he is everywhere with them at all times and has his hand in everyday matters. The perfect entity is a conscience being that makes choices based on what is for the greater good residing in heaven a place that awaits Christian followers if they have accepted Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. Buddhist has a different idea of God, in their world there is no creator God.
Buddhist do not believe in a centric being that rules and governs the cosmos in accordance with the greater good. Instead they feel that a human being is responsible for their own actions and as such are also responsible for the continuation and safety of the universe. Buddhist practice meditation and human service in an attempt to ultimately reach nirvana a state of being that is said to be stress free and without suffering. This is acquired through many lifetimes of building up positive karma eventually allowing a gateway nirvana. Although no specific higher eing is associated with Buddhist there are at least a couple different variations of Buddha practiced by differing Buddhism sects. The Theravada Buddhist see Buddha as a being who eventually reached nirvana and as such their blueprint must be followed to also be able to access the treasured state of being. On the other Mahayana Buddhist instead see Buddha as a god like being who embodies all of the cosmos and as such is worshipped within this sect. Although differing from actual gods Buddhist also acknowledge beings in higher realms known as devas however these beings are also said to have ugly human conditions such as greed, lust or anger.
When looking to compare different religions the different sides of the coin between Christianity and Buddhism seem to be far apart. While the religion of Christianity sees human beings as weak creatures who most always ask for forgiveness by their almighty being Buddhism empowers them. The feeling within the christen community is that most people are sinners and as such must give themselves up to Jesus Christ to allow entrance to his holy habitat. Believers are asked to continue to pray and ask for help when dealing with problems that appear to be out of their control.
In addition random occurrences of good luck are seen as specific blessing sent down by their creator or nudges to continue down the path of light. To see people as needing rescuing would be foreign to Buddhism followers as instead they feel that a person must conquer their own life. In Buddhism a person is empowered with control of their own path by being directed to reflect on oneself and become a better person. Through self-sacrifice and positive actions a person can earn Karma a positive energy that follows them onto the next life.
No higher being is blamed or takes credit for positive occurrences instead a Buddhist feels that their positive actions had a hand in the good outcome. The final resting place for these two different religions also seems to have its share of differences. Buddhist believe that a tranquil state of mind is the ultimate resting place a realm where suffering does not exist. There is no specific place or explanation on the surrounding instead a place where the mind is free from pain is the destination. Christianity however sees a specific kingdom in the skies a place where old relatives and loved ones await to reunite for eternity.
The darker side sets the stage in Christianity for a realm of fire and suffering where the sinners who chose to ignore the calling of Christ end up. Buddhist see the offset of evil continue the cycle of reincarnation ending up in a worse living situation as a punishment for evil actions in a past life. Buddhist are allowed to repent for their evil actions and continue reincarnation until nirvana is reached, Christians are not so lucky as hell has no exit. The eventual resting place of a bad soul differs heavily in Christianity and Buddhism however the positive side of eternity do share similar qualities.
Both religions look to a realm where suffering and misery cease a place where we do not have to deal with the negative aspects of humanity. These places are also not easily accessible both requiring dedication and positive human qualities to enter. Christianity and Buddhism look to both reward human beings for being good people and as such dangle both ending spots as a type of carrot on a stick to potential devotees. Although both religions look at different paths towards good decent human beings they share the idea that people need shaping.
Both entities feel that human beings need to either work at becoming better human beings or allow entrance to a higher being to guide them. Regardless of the format the idea that a person must work and strive at achieving the pinnacle of their chose religion remains the same. Both religions look to add deterrents to negative actions whether that is a downgrade in lifestyle with Buddhism or the threat of hell in Christianity. The ultimate goal of people being kind and decent human beings seems to be shared by almost every religion a positive similarity giving hope to religion as an institution.
The apparent differences in thought process between Christianity and Buddhism seem to be farther apart than I originally thought. Although both religions claim to be working for the greater good of mankind it appears, at least two met, that Buddhism is much more in line with my thought process than originally perceived. With Buddhism a lot is made of looking at a person’s own self and attempting to change from within which if we all could accomplish would set up heaven on earth. In Christianity the belief is that we are all sinners and the only gateway to heaven is through worship and adoration of a single entity.
To be so sure of something without any plausible proof seems absurd, going further to life a life of attempting to reach a place that may or may not exist borders on ridiculous. Buddhism does not claim to know who the creator is or if there is even a creator. Because of this thought process they are free from restrictions that claim a person must act a certain way or do certain things to pass on to a higher realm. By insisting that a person is responsible for their actions and their actions alone an empowerment occurs whereas blaming good or bad things on an imaginary creation weakens a human’s importance.
If I were to believe in Christianity as my religion then it is to assume that my path is not mine to choose, that everything and anything I do has already been foreseen and constructed by a higher being. I’d rather live on a planet where we are held responsible for the bad and good things we do and are then judged by those actions. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/God_in_Christianity http://www. parami. org/buddhistanswers/what_about_god. htm http://www. letusreason. org/Buddh1. htm