Nick's Journal
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2005-11-20 14:01:23 (UTC)

Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism

so just before i got on the metro to go home this friday i
thought to myself,
'how come buddhism and hinduism are never used to justify
horrible massacres, or wars?'
i mean christianity and islam are used all the time to
justify massacres or wars (jihad and the crusades). what is
it between these four religions that causes this difference?
i can think of two explanations,
a.) it is just a matter of fortune that no maniac has
latched onto hinduism/buddhism for justification
b.) there is something inherent in these two religions that
doesn't lend itself to this type of justification.
i am inclined to believe the latter after dwelling on the
former for a while.
see my problem is that i don't now very much about hinduism,
i've read a book on buddhism. along the lines of buddhism,
what i gather is that it is very much about giving up
everythign and not pursuing pleasure thus cleansing yourself
of sin. and hinduism is something along the lines of
re-incarnation and so on. you see i can't see someone using
buddhism to justify war. it just doesn't fit into the very
belief the religion is based upon.
take islam for example a horribly violent religion for which
you really don't need to stretch too far to create a
"perversion of the religion". i mean the koran basically
tells you to 'take care of the infidels'. now of course
that's not to say that you can't practice it peacefully and
that it's not a good religion, but just like chrisitianity
it is more predisposed to aggression.
then i wondered about why christianity and islam have this
predisposition and one thing i can think of is basically
that they grew up in a high-density environment and had
major competition, thus the need to attack others.
picture islam and christianity as the two children that are
beaten by their parents. they are insecure, they're told
there are other better children, and a lot of times they
aren't fully embraced. so then these children grow up and
once they get to be strong enough they attack other children
to validate themselves.
this is basically the way i see those two religions. now
you take buddhism/hinduism and they are the children who
grew up in loving nurturing families, and grow up to be
self-assured and don't see a need for violence or aggression.
now this isn't to say that buddhism/hinduism don't have
their flaws. first of all i think buddhism is a a crock.
it tells you not to experience life and to avoid everything
instead of enduring trials and tribulations, you end up
creating your own trials and tribulations by denying
everything to yourself. i don't know enough about hinduism,
but these two religions aren't used for jihads/crusades.
what i need is to read some books about theses religions but
the problem is to get a real picture, i mean no book on the
history of a religion will go into the bad aspects of it
(namely all the times they were used to justify war).
really you can only look at the fundamental principles that
a religion is founded upon and the bible and the koran are
good places to start. both of those books can very easily
be 're-interpreted' to justify war.
i don't see the philosophies behind buddhism/hinduism to
allow the same fate.

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