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What's Your Problem?- Part 3: Buddhism

This is the third part of a series of posts that examine different worldviews' teachings about man's problem and solution to that problem. The introduction post may be found here.

Last week we looked at man's problem proposed by Hinduism and the four prescribed solutions. This week we will investigate the claims of Buddhism.

What's Your Problem?
The perfect condition of man, as proposed by Buddhism, is enlightenment*- the lack of life, which is suffering. The antidote to rid one of suffering is that a person must eliminate craving and desire. The proposed way of doing this is to have right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration (this is called the Nobel Eight-Fold Path).

Is it possible for man to follow the Eight-Fold Path to the point of extinguishing desire? Does the problem and proposed solution have any merit in reality?

What's Your Problem?- Part 2: Hinduism

Last week we started looking at humanity's problem. We established the possibility that a problem does exist, but left the identity of the specific problem open. This week we will begin looking at a few different proposed problems and solutions. The problem from the Hindu worldview is first.

Hinduism is a pantheistic worldview. That means that everyone and everything is God, and God is everyone and everything. We are all the same essence as each other and as God. The foundation of the problem proposed by Hinduism is that man is suffering from a type of self-induced and self-perpetuated amnesia- in which we have forgotten our "Godness". We no longer understand that everyone and everything is God, and God is everyone and everything- including ourselves. The official problem that man suffers from is a cycle of life, death, and reincarnation called Samsara, that is the result of the "amnesia". 

What's Your Problem?- Part 1: Introduction

Most worldviews hold that there is something wrong with man- a problem. Man used to be in one perfect condition but is not now. The belief systems of the world provide prescriptions to get man back to the original/perfect state. Different worldviews believe that different things are wrong with man, so each will provide a different antidote. In this short series I want to look at a few of the proposed problems to see which one seems to fit best with humanity as we know it and see if the problem can be rectified by the respective worldview.

A Problem Requires A Purpose
First, though, I want to address the idea that there is no real problem with man- we must not just assume this. The concept of a "problem" is dependent upon humanity having a purpose. A "problem" would be a state in which man is unable to fulfill his purpose. If man has no purpose, then no state exists in which he would not be able to fulfill his purpose. Hence, if there is not purpose for humanity, humanity cannot be in a problematic state. Further, any worldview that holds that humanity has no purpose also holds that there is nothing "wrong" with the state of humanity. But, is this view correct?

Don't Judge Me By My Past

As Seen On Facebook
This meme popped up this week and caught my attention. The text reads "Don't judge me by my past. I'm not in the past anymore. Accept me for who I am because this is me today." I want to examine this from a perspective of everyday life then a perspective of the worldview implications.

My First Thought
The big question that I want to ask anyone who posts this is "if we can't judge someone by their past, how are we to know whether someone is trustworthy or not?"

As I have written in my post "Is Faith Emotional or Logical?" trust requires that we examine a person's past. If we see a past that someone has been faithful to their word and has shown themselves to be worthy of trust, then placing our trust in them is not only smart, but it is perfectly logical. On the other hand if a person has shown themselves to be untrustworthy and does not keep their word, we should not place our confidence in them.