Religions Essay

605 Words Dec 18th, 2013 3 Pages
Among the five great religions to which nearly nine-tenths of present-day humanity belong,
Buddhism and Christianity have been the most frequent subjects of comparison. And rightly so. Because, together with Islam, and unlike Hinduism and Chinese universism, they are
“world religions,” that is to say, forms of belief that have found followers not merely in a single though vast country, but also in wide regions of the world.
Buddhism and Christianity, however, differ from Islam in so far as, unlike the latter, they do not stress the natural aspects of world and man, but they wish to lead beyond them. A comparison between Buddhism and Christianity, however, proves so fruitful mainly because they represent, in the purest form,
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From these parallels some writers have attempted to conclude that the Gospels have drawn from Buddhist texts. But this contention goes much too far. If there is any dependence at all of the stories in the Gospels on those of India, it could be only by oral tradition, through the migration to the West of certain themes which originated in India, and were taken over by the authors of the biblical scriptures. But that is in no way certain, because many of those similarities are not so striking as to exclude the possibility of their independent origin at different places.
2. Both Buddha and Jesus based their ethics on the “Golden Rule.” Buddha told the
Brahmins and householders of a certain village as follows: “A lay-follower reflects thus:
How can I inflict upon others what is unpleasant to me?’ On account of that reflection, he does not do any evil to others, and he also does not cause others to do so” (Saṃyutta 55, 7).
And Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matth. 7, 12; Lk.
6, 31)—this being, by the way, a teaching which, in negative formulation, was already known to the Jewish religion (Tob. 15, 4).
Also the principle “Love they neighbor like unto yourself” (Lk. 10,27) which, in connection with Lev. 19,18, was raised by Jesus to a maxim of ethical doctrine,

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