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Comparison between Buddha and Other World Religions (Term Paper Sample)


This paper compares Buddhism and other religions such as Christianity


Title: Comparison between Buddha and Other World Religions
* Introduction
* What draws humans to religion?
* Thesis Statement
* Body
* The Origin of Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
1 Statistical Analysis.
2 Basic Belief System.
* Comparison between Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
1 How do these religions compare in terms of faith, the concept of sin, salvation, death and the nature of morality.
* Conclusion
* Summary.
* Conclusive statement.
Human beings are driven by the need to believe in the existence of a deity being who is constantly watching over them and ensuring their well-being. This need can be attributed to the need of purpose and hope that all humans pursue. As a result, many individuals have embraced religion. In fact, studies show that 84% of the world’s population is religious. At present, there are 4200 religions around the world. However, the major religious groups include Christians, who make up 31.2%. Muslims make up 24.1%, Buddhists 6.9% and Jews 0.2%. While there is no argument that all these groups are religious groups, Buddhism remains a major topic of debate. Scholars have categorized it as a philosophy and psychology in addition to it being a religion. All these categories are accurately presented because, in so many ways, Buddhism resembles other religions. However, the lack of belief in a higher power makes it also different.
Origin of Buddhism and Other Religious Groups[Williams, Buddhist Origins, 20]
The origin of Buddhism can be traced back to the mid 6th and 4th centuries BCE. The beliefs found in this religion are derived from the teachings of a Buddha whom scholars believe resided in the Northern part of India specifically in the region known as Siddhārtha Gautama Kapilavasthu1. The religion gained popularity in Asia and spread to countries such as Korea, Japan and China. However, it was only until the 20th century that it gained recognition in the western countries. The doctrines found in this ancient custom are founded on the belief that everything exists co-dependently and humans suffer for a reason, but this suffering can be alleviated with the right tools. It seeks to create harmony and help people live purposeful lives.
Buddhism is based on four noble truths that seek to explain the origin of suffering and its end. The Buddha came to an understanding of these four noble truths during a moment of meditation under the bodhi tree. In the first truth known as Dukkha (suffering), the Buddha tries to explain the origin of suffering. According to this noble truth, life is not ideal and a lot of the times, people fail to meet the set expectations. It states that suffering exists in different forms. It may result from illnesses, life traumas or feeling unfulfilled. But regardless of the cause of a person’s suffering, it is something that no one can avoid. The Buddha goes on to teach about the origin of suffering (Samudāya), which is the second noble truth. According to this doctrine, the origin of suffering goes deeper than what many individuals think. The teaching states that the actual origin of suffering is desire. The third noble truth, the truth of the end of suffering (Nirodha) states that suffering cannot be avoided unless humans detach themselves from desire. The fourth truth, attaining the end of suffering (Magga) speaks on paths people can follow to end suffering. This truth is built on the foundation of eight principles known as the Eightfold Path.
As the Buddha made this discovery on suffering, he created a close link between the four noble truths and the concept of dependent origination also known as the law of casualty. According to this concept, nothing exists on its own. Everything is woven together and as a result, one action is bound to create a series of reactions. The Buddha argues that even for humans to exist, there has to be a biological component which is achieved by two individuals, male and female. Therefore, humans exist as a result of their parents. For a bed to exist, wood must be used. These two examples give a clear depiction of what the Buddha was trying to achieve with this concept. Dependent origination also has a close link with the four noble truths. For suffering to be present, there must be desire. Therefore, these two concepts give a summary of Buddhism.[Trainor, Buddhism, 503 Brown and Morrison, Judaism, 33]

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