|Links: Pages on Buddhism, Other Religions|
|Texts||Multifaceted. Includes Pali Canon and the Mahayana sutras, depending.|
|Afterlife||Reincarnation until escape|
|Area of Origin||India|
|Founder||Traditions based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, 1st millennium BCE|
|Numbers in the UK (Census results)|
|2001||144 453||2011||248 000|
|Buddhists Worldwide (Pew & WM)|
|World: 5.91%. Cambodia (96.9%), Thailand (93.2%), Myanmar (Burma) (80.1%), Bhutan (74.7%), Sri Lanka (69.3%), Laos (66%), Mongolia (55.1%), Japan (36.2%), Singapore (33.9%), Korea, South (22.9%) 1|
The historical evidence does not make it easy to trace the beginnings of Buddhism except that it sprung out of, and shares many basic beliefs, with Hinduism. "During the reign of emperor Ashoka (3rd century BCE) Buddhism became a major Indian religion and was subsequently established across the whole subcontinent and beyond"2 and is now counted as one of the great world religions3. It has grown so diverse that it is very hard to define its core nature - in 1913 one scholar pointed out that "in Japan alone it has differentiated itself into thirteen main sects and forty-four sub-sects". Buddhism is a well-liked and respected religion in the West; many attend Buddhist retreats, meditation centres and classes, and western Buddhist communities nearly all run such events for the general public. But in the West many who put "Buddhist" on census forms have merely attended some of these and who have an interest, but are not committed Buddhists, which artificially inflates the numbers.
The Ethic of Reciprocity appears in many religions. Buddha said 'Let a man overcome anger by kindness, evil by good' - it is the same rule later adopted by Christians as their Golden Rule, by Pagans as the Wiccan Rede and by many others. "Ethics Of Reciprocity like the Golden Rule and the Wiccan Rede Do Not Work" by Vexen Crabtree (2001).
The Buddhist Emperor Wang Mang was 'probably the first recorded ruler to abolish the slave trade' on "Traditional Religions and Abolition of the Slave Trade" by Vexen Crabtree (2003)
|Social & Moral|
(Lower is better)
|17||Northern Mariana Islands||10.6%|
The population of 7 countries are mostly Buddhist (2011)1. Comparing those 7 country(ies) to the rest of the world:
Buddhist countries' average life expectancy at birth (69.0yrs) is close to the global average (70.0yrs).5
Buddhist countries' average fertility rate is 2.22, compared with the global average of 2.81. Values above 2.1 cause population growth, putting further strain on the Earth's resources. See: The Overpopulation of the Earth and the Demographics Crises: The Impact on Pensions and Immigration.6
Buddhist countries' are much poorer than the global average Gross National Income (per capita) of $12 703, with an average GNI of $4 104.7
When it comes to tolerance of homosexuality and LGBT rights, Buddhists' countries are even worse than the global average, scoring -19.3 on the Social and Moral Development Index LGBT component compared with the global average of -7.3.
William James says that Buddhism, like Christianity, is more "complete" than many other religions because it has attempted complex explanations of why suffering exists. See "The Varieties of Religious Experience" by William James (1902) [Book Review] and The Problem of Evil: Why Would a Good God Create Suffering?.
The following pages mention this religion. The 10 most relevant are listed:
Criticisms of Buddhism: Its History, Doctrine and Common Practices, 231 times, in the following sections:
2. Nothing New
6.1. Buddhism's Part in War and Strife
6.2. The Inequality of Women
4. Western Buddhism is Schizophrenic and Shallow
6.5. The Social Vampirism of Monasteries
4.4. Real Buddhism is Social, not Individualistic
5.2. World Rejection
4.3. The Census Exaggerates Buddhist Numbers
6.3. Sex Scandals and Cover-ups: the Same as Other Religions
4.2. The Imbalanced Interest in Selected Practises, Devoid of Rationality
4.1. The Imbalanced Interest in Selected Rational Texts Only
1. The Literary Foundation of Buddhism: Divisions and Denominations
5.1. The First Cause Dilemma: A Fundamental Contradiction
3. The Buddha Was Not a Historical Person
6.4. Human Suffering: Paying the Price for the Sins of a Previous Life
5.3. Buddhist Psychology is Too Idealistic
Cultural Religion Versus Scholarly Religion, 12 times, in these sections:
1.2. Examples from Ancient Babylon to the Christian Present
3. Soka Gakkai: All Believers Excommunicated by the Shoshu Priesthood
Review of 'Varieties of Religious Experience' by William James, 9 times, in these sections:
* Top of page
Review of 'The Phenomenon of Religion' by Moojan Momen, 6 times, in the following sections:
* Top of page
Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer
(1997) Religions of the World. Subtitled "The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals". By Elizabeth Breuilly, Joanne O'Brien & Martin Palmer. Hardback. Published for Transedition Limited and Fernleigh Books by Lionheart Books.
(1959) Buddhist Scriptures. Published by Penguin Books.
Hinnells, John R.. Currently professor of theology at Liverpool Hope University.
(1997, Ed.) The Penguin Dictionary of Religions. References to this book simply state the title of the entry used. First published 1984. Published by Penguin Books, London, UK
(1954) Buddhism. Christmas was President of the Buddhist Society, London, from its foundation in 1924 until its Silver Jubilee.
(1902) The Varieties of Religious Experience. From the Gifford Lectures delivered at Edinburgh 1901-1902, first Edition printed 1960. Quotes from fifth edition, 1971, Collins. [Book Review]
(1989) The Social Face of Buddhism. Published by Wisdom Publications, London, UK.
Nukariya, Kaiten. Professor of Kei-O-Gi-Jiku University and of So-To-Shu Buddhist College, Tokyo.
(1913) Zen - The Religion of the Samurai. Subtitled "A study of Zen philosophy and discipline in China and Japan". Amazon digital edition. Produced by John B. Hare and proofread by Carrie R. Lorenz.
Pew Forum. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
(2012) The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Major Religious Groups as of 2010. Published 2012 Dec 18, accessed online 2013 May 01.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2008) Worldmapper Datasets 551-582: Religion. Worldmapper Datasets 551-582: Religion (2008 Mar 26) on worldmapper.org/.../religion_data.xls, accessed 2013 Nov 11. Authored by John Protchard, published by SASI, University of Shieffield. Data is for year 2005, with some datasets being edited from original sources to remove the effects of double-counting, and, adjusting for population changes between 2002 and 2005.