Will the Pope get into Heaven if Buddha is running things?

This is one of the main reasons why I am against
any type of organized religion.

What if I was born into (or picked) the wrong one!

What a bitch it must be to have given your entire life to Christ only to find out that a big fat Oriental runs heaven and you have no business being there!

If there is “A” god, then only one religion is correct and the rest of them along with all of their followers are living their lives in sin!

Hell must be pretty damn big place!

Do any religions give points simply for meaning well?

Buddhism isn’t strictly a religion in the way that Catholicism is. Buddha isn’t seen as a God, more a guy that founded the Buddhist way of life. Buddhism is more about a set of teachings. It teaches that you can reach a state of Nirvana through meditation, for example.

[nitpick]There wouldn’t be a heaven if Buddhism was right :)[/nitpick]

A (little) more seriously though, you could try Theosophy; I’ve heard it tries to combine teachings from all major religions…

There is no heaven in Buddhism.

sigh InLikeFlynn, you need to get yourself a good book on comparative religions and read it, thoroughly.

Then you need to seriously rethink this statement:

** This is one of the main reasons why I am against any type of organized religion.**

Why do you need to re-think this? Because you’ve taken the dogma of Christianity (I’m guessing from your statements you were raised in a mainly Christian enviroment and have little knowledge of other religions) and simply assumed it applied to ALL OTHER religions.

From my studies of comparative religion, only Christianity and Islam have the concept of one life to life, then you’re either consigned to heaven or hell.

A long time ago, I read a book by Aubry Menen (I think) entitled She-La, which opened with a scene set in some limbo somewhere.

Michael the Archangel, in full armor, approaches the Bo tree, with a meditating figure under it.

“Blessed be God of all the Hosts!” he shouts.

“Not around here, he isn’t” answers Buddha, from under the tree.

Weird book. Can’t recall most of it.

Just to reiterate:

There is no Heaven in Buddhism.

Buddha is not a god and doesn’t “run things.”

Buddhism has no doctrine of faith, and mandates no particular belief. You don’t get punished for worshipping the wrong god.

Talk out your ass, much?

It really annoys me when someone takes his dislike of his own culture as a license to totally mischaracterize another culture.

Doghouse, You don’t know what you’re talking about. “Heaven” in Buddhism is absolutely nothing like the Heaven in Christianity. “Heaven” is not even a good translation. There are different levels of existence in some types of Buddhism (not “all” as the link states) and some forms of Buddhim believe that gods reside on a higher level , but this level of existence is not heaven in any western sense of the world. The primary difference is that people can’t go there. There is no Heaven in the sense of palce one goes as a reward for good behaviour. Heaven is not the goal of Buddhism, Nirvana is, Nirvana is not a place. Even the gods who live in “heavens” (I reiterate, that’s a bad translation) are trying to get out of Heaven and go to Nirvana. Heaven is still part of samsara and it is not desirable.

I will say it again: there is no “Heaven” in Buddhism in any western sense of the word.

And where the hell do you get this crap about me “not liking my culture?”

There are some areas in which I feel Diogenes is poorly informed.

Theology is not on that list.

Buddhism isn’t a “culture” btw, and I haven’t “mischaracterized” anything. I had an emphasis on eastern religions as a religion major in college, and I’ve been practicing Zen meditation for years. I know what I’m talking about.

I keep on forgetting how literal Dopers are (unreal)!
A Moslem instead of a Jew instead of a Christian instead of an ancient Egyptian: Any religion with a set of practices that differ from another, could have two men at the same time, perform the same act and have one man labeled moral and the other a sinner! It seems totally ridiculous to me to live ones life by a set of rules meant to achieve a preferable after life without having any idea if the rules you are following are the correct ones or inversly, the equivalent of cutting your way into the long line of evildoers waiting to get into hell!

I was going to use the analogy of a Moslem and Christian eating pork but (I recently learned) the Bible forbids both religions from the other white meat!
How many Christians knew that one? Sinners!!!

Thank you, Scylla, that means a lot, consifdering I know that you disagree with me on virtually everything else. I appreciate that you’re fair enough to defend someone that you don’t necessarily like very much.

Christians are not prohibited from eating pork. Read Acts.

Your welcome. I don’t dislike you. We just disagree a lot.
If you could just be as smart about politics as you are about religion then you’d agree with me all the time :wink:

What if heaven were run by a committee of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, John Lennon, David Letterman, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Moore, and Erik Estrada?

What Doghouse Reilly said.

There is a lot of misunderstanding of Buddhism in Western societies, chiefly that there is one unified doctrinal system in Buddhist teaching and that Buddha is the name of its founder.

For one thing, the word “Buddha” comes from the Sanskrit verb “to awaken” and was a title applied to Prince Siddhartha after he had attained enlightenment. In the centuries after the Buddha’s death, his followers began to divide between the liberal school of thought, Mahayana, and a more traditionalist school, Theravada. Later, as Buddhist teachings passed into Tibet and assimiated its folk religion, Bon, it became the system we know as Tibetan Buddhism. Each of these three branches of Buddhism have very different ideas about the nature of the Buddha and the path to enlightenment.

The Theravadan school, which is followed in Southeast Asia, teaches that it is up to each individual to attain awareness of Ultimate Reality through meditation and discipline, called Enlightenment, and then to attain Nirvana, which to become one with that Reality after death. Theravadan Buddhism does not encourage interest in the supernatural or deities.

Mahayana Buddhism teaches that enlightenment can be attained with the help of gods and enlightened beings called bodhisattvas* who elect to stay on Earth to help those who are suffering. Mahayana Buddhism ism ore orented to the salvation through the group instead of through individual effort.

Tibetan Buddhism teaches of a full-on supernatural universe with a panoply of gods and demons who help and hinder the soul’s travail to the attainment of enlightenement. Tibetan Buddhism preches the doctrine of reincarnation and attributes miracles to particularly holy lamas.

These three main branches are of course subdivided into further sects and denominations, including Pure Land Buddhism, Zen, Nichiren Shoshu, and so forth. So as you can see, it is follish to say that "Buddhism teaches there is no heaven, " when that is clearly not the case for all branches of Buddhist thought.

Namu Amida Butsu.

I second Gobear. Christianity includes Thomas Merton, Fred Phelps (unfortunately), Marcus Borg, Jerry Falwell, Tammie Faye, and Mychal Judge. Buddhism can include the Pure Land sect (which certainly believes in a heaven in the sense of a place one goes to as a reward in an afterlife) – but the essence of Gautama Buddha’s teachings nowhere suggests a heavenly reward, AFAIK. What we have is a couple of cases of people conforming their concept of a religious belief to what they personally want to believe.

I would totally love to be in the meeting where they draw up the admission criteria. Ahhh…good hypothetical times.

The chief attribute I think you are trying to make between the Buddhist and Christian concepts is that Christianity teaches that the soul after death retains its identity and goes to a place of infinite joy.

Buddhist schools of thought teach the contrary, that the individual self is an illusion and that the ultimate joy is to escape the bonds of selfhood and desire, entering a state of freedom from rebirth and karmic debt, a state that words cannot properly describe.