Just because it is special does not make it right
Before I start hammering, I have to say I am no expert in Buddhism. This is my opinion about what I have learned, and I do not intend to mock other beliefs. I am just trying to express my idea and to get others’ opinions. In my mind, there are 3 problems with Buddhism. One is, the scientific facts, the second is moral facts, and the third one is the present activities of so-called Buddhists. Again, I am not trying to escalate someone’s feelings.
To be honest the main problem with Buddhism is, it sometimes contradicts modern science. That does not mean Buddhism is right or wrong, it just means we don’t know if the claims made in Buddhism are right, that’s all. Let me give you an example, one of the crucial teachings of Buddhism is the circle of life. If you don’t find enlightenment (‘Nirvana’), you will go on a circle of life. The problem with this idea is, firstly we don’t know if there is life after death, secondly, we don’t know if we find enlightenment, the cycle is going to end. Lord Buddha is making a claim, without any evidence, and all the evidence that is given to us is not that good. Another problem is where are hell and heaven. If there is such a thing, where is it located? Someone could say that we cannot see where hell and heaven are located. Then the same problem occurs to me, you are claiming something, and we don’t have any evidence to suggest if this is true or not.
Okay, now let’s dive into the second problem of morality. Can I ask a simple question? Would you kill Adolf Hitler if he comes in front of you? Well according to my understanding of Buddhism, if I kill Hitler with the intention of killing Hitler, then I am committing a sin. In my mind, there is an ethical dilemma. Would I sacrifice my well-being to save 6 million people by killing Adolf Hitler? As a person, why would I sacrifice my wellbeing so that I can save people, I don’t even know. But deep down I know killing Hitler is the right thing to do. Let me give another example. Let’s look at a person who has lived during the French revolution. During that time there wasn’t any good chance to start a sinless business, like trading food and stuff. So, you are stealing food to feed your family. According to Buddhism, stealing is wrong, and you are making sin. We both all know, in that situation, stealing is the option, and that is acceptable. Otherwise, your family will die without food. This is not morally acceptable for me. Again, the same problem occurs, do I need to sacrifice my life and the lives of my family so I could have a better life in reincarnation. My answer is simply no, because we don’t know if there is another life, and why would sacrifice all these things we can see for an imaginary life
The last problem, the actions of the present so-called Buddhist. People spend thousands of dollars on the well-being of temples, but when they are asked to give to charity, we can only find few people who willing to do charity. And that does not mean everyone Buddhist like that, but the majority of Buddhists are like that. They try to create a better life in the next reincarnation but avoid making a better life for people who still live in this life. During the feudal period, kings’ lords, and servants did give their time and money to well the temple, and I have no problem with that. The problem arises when in the modern world, we are still doing the same and people are being selfish because they are being sold that if you give to the temple, then you can have a better afterlife. Most people say that we are giving because it is our culture. That can be true, but when the culture is shaped by Buddhism where it is much nobler to give to the temple than helping people who are suffering. This is so immoral, they are following the religion, and forgetting the fact that we only know of this life, and we must make sure that this life is better for everyone. That does not mean that I am against giving to temples, my problem arises when those giving to the temples outnumber the people who give to charity.
Finally, I have the end of my rambling. Before I end this, I have to say, there are lots of good things about Buddhism when compared to some religions and there is something special about Buddhism, I accept that. But the problem is, just because it is special does not make it right, in my humble opinion.