Well, is Taco Bell Mexican food?
If we are going to discuss food, and someone says that the prefer Mexican food to American food then that has some kind of meaning.
If I then ask them, what type of Mexican food do you like, and they say Taco Bell beef burritos, then I have to wonder, do they really like Mexican food?
So I inquire some more, and I ask them why they say they prefer Mexican food to American food and they say that they prefer Taco Bell to McDonald’s, and that they like the Mexican Hot Pockets you get in the grocery store.
Does this person really prefer Mexican food to American food?
So I take this person to Mexico and we order some local favorites, and the guy spits the food out and throws up and says its disgusting.
What is Mexican food, what is American food?
In reality, the guy like American food, because Taco Bell and Hot Pockets are American food.
They are “Mexican style” American foods, crafted by marketing people in American food corporations to appeal to American tastes.
That’s essentially what Western “Buddhism” is.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong, or bad, or anything about it, I’m just say that that’s what it is.
I like Taco Bell. I like Tex-Mex. I understand that these are really American foods.
The fact that Taco Bell isn’t authentic Mexican food doesn’t make it bad, it is what it is, and it appeals to Americans.
These same debates go on when we talk about the origin of Western Science and philosophy.
You have Christians that will tell you that Western Science is a product of Christianity. They will defend this by saying that the people who developed the scientific methods and made the early scientific discoveries in the Middle Ages and Renaissances were Christians.
Newton was a Christian. Copernicus was a Christian. Galileo was a Christian. For that matter, Darwin was a Christian at the time he made his discoveries.
But are these discoveries and conclusions and methods products of Christian thought and ideas?
No, they are not.
Most of these discoveries were in direct contradiction to the established and accepted Christian worldview and belief system.
These advances came as people were re-introduced to pre-Christian science and philosophy and ideas when large numbers of “pagan” works were rediscovered in the 1400s and 1500s and then printed on the printing presses and disseminated.
What exactly did the Christian framework bring to the table to advance these ideas? Nothing. Indeed these ideas had to be advanced in spite of the Christian worldview, in contradiction to it.
Yes, these advances were made in a Christian society, by people who were studying pre-Christian ideas and reconsidering them and seeing the value in them and pushing them forward against the Christian grain.
Christianity’s main contribution to science was it’s opposition, which forced materialists and empiricists to develop a robust and irrefutable process that could push back against Christian dogma.
The question with Buddhism is, what does Buddhism bring to the table?
I’ve discussed this with Buddhists many times, and I’m really tired of it so I’m not going to go into the details here that I have in other places before, but what does has Buddhism brought to the table to claim that it is rational, scientific, reasonable, etc.?
The big achievement of Buddhism is in accepting science, but it itself contributes nothing.
Buddhism is an irrational, nonsensical, anti-scientific, and mythology based religion.
Some people who call themselves Buddhists, just like some people who call themselves Christians, have been able to leave some of those trappings behind.
Great, good for them. I’m glad that they have been able to cast of some of the nonsense of Buddhism to accept other more rational beliefs, just as some people who call themselves Christians reject creationism and accept evolution.
Neither Buddhism nor Christianity produces reasonable beliefs. Some people who call themselves Buddhists and Christians are able to adopt reasonable beliefs in site of their religions, and good for them.
Some people have stripped traditional Buddhism of most of it’s beliefs and they have invented something new called “philosophical Buddhism”, which is Buddhism minus most of the nonsense. This is basically like going through the Gospels and taking out only the reasonable sayings attributed to Jesus and inventing “philosophical Christianity”.
That’s fine. But don’t hold up this stripped down version of Christianity and then claim that “Christianity is compatible with science, and is reasonable and holds perfectly rational beliefs”, because it doesn’t.