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Buddhism – Philosophy or Religion.
Pages 3 (753 words)
Different people in different states have dissimilar perspectives on what Buddhism is; some strongly believe it is a religion like any other while others claim it to be just mere philosophy that clearly defines aesthetics, logic, politics and social philosophy.
However, despite the numerous perspectives and perceptions of what Buddhism is; the query still remains whether it is a religion or a philosophy, and this can only be explained if one critically evaluated the definitions of religion and philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to examine Olson’s study on whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy putting into consideration some of the theories applied, the history of Buddhism, Buddha – its religious figure and its literature. The paper will not lie on one side of the thesis question i.e. whether Buddhism is a religion or philosophy, but it will evaluate both notions mostly according to Olson’s conclusions on the matter. In the book ‘The Different Path of Buddhism’ Olson starts by first making a quick account of the early Buddhist tradition of how an old woman, friends with the monks, died and the monks were inconsolable. After which Buddha told them the story about kaka Jataka, the crow and the day when one of the crows got very drunk and was swept out to the sea and drowned; he used the story for symbolism where the sea was a metaphor for the suffering associated with life and the crows represented the human beings (Olson 1). ...
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