Kommentare: 1
  • #1

    Philoclopedia (Sonntag, 23 Januar 2022 21:18)

    Bertrand Russell concerning Buddhism:

    "Among present-day religions Buddhism is best. The doctrines of Buddhism are profound, they are almost reasonable, and historically they have been the least harmful and the least cruel. But I cannot say that Buddhism is positively good, nor would I wish to have it spread all over the world and believed by everyone. This is because Buddhism only focuses on the question of what Man is, not on what the universe is like. Buddhism does not really pursue the truth; it appeals to sentiment and, ultimately, tries to persuade people to believe in doctrines which are based on subjective assumptions not objective evidence.

    However, subjective opinions can produce false beliefs. I think that no matter what the religion, nor how ambiguously its faith is expressed, the same problem arises because of the substitution of subjective sentiment for objective evidence. Sentiment might be taken as the dominant force in our daily lives. But as for belief in facts, the farther we distance ourselves from sentiment the better. Never substitute sentiment for facts. It is absolutely harmful to do so."

    — Bertrand Russell, Russell on Religion: Selections from the Writings of Bertrand Russell (1999), Part II, Religion and Philosophy, 6. The Essence and Effect of Religion(1921), p. 74

    ‘The Essence and Effect of Religion’ was originally a lecture given at the National University of Peking by Russell in 1921. In the lecture Russell addressed two questions: what is the essence of religions? and, is it necessary to preserve the essence of religions? Russell was impressed by the Chinese culture at the time, but more so by the Chinese people’s relaxed attitude towards religion. For example, the fact Confucianism was mostly concerned with ethics rather than dogma. This tolerant attitude Russell found quite different from the dominating and controlling one in the West, which by stressing dogma and demanding correct belief, he believed had caused much unnecessary suffering throughout European history.

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