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Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy?

Do you worship Buddha or do you just follow his teachings? Or is it both?


Asked by IhartU at 5:27 PM on Sep. 23, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
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Answers (9)
  • Depends on who ya ask and what they define as "religion".

    To answer the second half of your question, though - no, we don't "worship" Buddha. Buddha was not - and never claimed to be - a God.

    There are VASTLY varying beliefs within Buddhism that aren't limited by just "Eastern" or "Western". Just like in any other religion, there are numerous denominations, non-denominational, & "eclectic" Buddhists..... and just like other religions... you could get half a dozen Buddhists in the same room together, & none of them would completely agree on their beliefs.

    As for me & what I believe --- Buddhism is both.

    Answer by Laura1229 at 5:34 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Depends on if you're Eastern or Western. Western tends to consider Buddhism a religion though really it is a philosophy of life. Buddha was a man and a teacher not a God. Buddhists pay reverence and respect to Buddha and thank him for his teachings, but they do not worship him.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 5:29 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Kristi beat me to it.

    Answer by Princessofscots at 5:30 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Thank you! It's confusing because I hear people who are not Buddhists saying they worship Buddha as a god.


    Answer by IhartU at 5:30 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Thank you Laura! Looks like I'll have to do a little research into it because of all the different views about the beliefs.

    Answer by IhartU at 5:35 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • According to DH more of a philosophy. But it does depend who you ask.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 7:03 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • I think it works as both, as cited above. There are different types of Buddhism. And you can follow the philosophy of Buddhism as a philosophy (believing the four noble truths and following the eightfold path).

    But certain types of Buddhism are much more spiritual. You can actively pursue enlightenment through meditation. And meditation can be very powefull. I used to practice Zen Buddhism when I was in martial arts. I would say that Zen is not a philosophy at all, but a practice. In fact, as I tried to develop the skill of mushin (the mind of no mind) a form of meditation I was actually able to experience some very interesting things spiritually.

    As a Christian, I have seperated myself from these things because I believe they are real and it is more than a philosophy.

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 7:31 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • It can work as both. There are those that consider it a religion, but even at that, it's more of a philosophical religion than a "worship" type. And there are Buddhists in many other religions... Christian Buddhist, Wiccan Buddhist, Satanist Buddhists... The list goes on for ever...


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:25 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • buddist christian?????

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:02 PM on Sep. 23, 2009